CALGARY — Lance Bouma’s willingness to get to the front of the net paid off for the Calgary Flames on Monday.
Bouma scored the winner at 8:40 of the third period when he tipped a T.J. Brodie point shot past Semyon Varlamov as Calgary edged the Colorado Avalanche 3-2.
“Brods made a great play right off my stick — I didn’t do much there,” said a modest Bouma. “That’s something we stress here, is getting to the front of the net. We want traffic in front of their goalie. He’s a great goalie and any goalie in this league is good if he gets the chance to see the shot.”
Both Bouma and David Jones finished with a goal and an assist for the Flames (40-27-6), while Jiri Hudler also scored. Kari Ramo made 25 saves to record his 15th win of the season.
Calgary held onto third place in the Pacific Division ahead of the Los Angeles Kings (35-23-14), who skated to a 3-1 road win over the New Jersey Devils earlier on Monday.
Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche (33-27-12), while Varlamov finished with 23 saves.
“This one definitely stings, no doubt about it,” said Landeskog, whose team is now 10 points out of a playoff spot with 10 games remaining. “We needed this one really bad. We’re going to keep playing hockey and we’re going to keep doing our best to win hockey games.”
Alex Tanguay also scored for the Avs, while Ryan O’Reilly had two assists.
“I will never say never,” said Colorado coach Patrick Roy of his team’s playoff chances. “This is a team that I’m proud of. It was a hard-fought game in my opinion. When you’re wearing the Avalanche logo, you battle. Every time you’re going to be on the ice, you’re going to compete.”
Ramo made a nice save to turn aside a slapshot off the stick of O’Reilly six minutes into the first period before Markus Granlund picked up the puck and hit Bouma in stride with a pass.
Bouma then broke into the Colorado zone on a two-on-one with Jones, who took a pass from his linemate and fired a wrist shot into the net over Varlamov’s outstretched glove hand.
The Avs tied things up at 17:46 of the first when Tanguay swatted a pass from Landeskog past Ramo.
The Flames went up 2-1 with 16 seconds left in the first when Dennis Wideman fired a sharp-angle shot towards the Colorado net that deflected off Hudler’s foot and past a stunned Varlamov.
Colorado had a few more good chances in the second to pull even with the Flames, but both John Mitchell and Tyson Barrie rang shots off the post behind Ramo, who later made a nice pad save to stop a shot by Matt Duchene from in tight.
“We just had a few too many turnovers in the second there,” said Jones. “They really out-chanced us. We’ve just got to do a better job being on top on the defensive side of the puck. We’ve been good at it all year so we’ll get back to it.”
After Bouma’s goal, Landeskog converted a feed from O’Reilly to round out the scoring at 10:46 of the third.