Flames face Avs minus Gilbert

The Calgary Flames hope a new coach will help put the brakes on a four-game losing streak Tuesday when they conclude a five-game road stretch with the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

Calgary, which is just 1-10-0-1 in its last 12 games, fired head coach Greg Gilbert Tuesday morning, as well as assistant Brad McCrimmon.

Al MacNeil, special assistant to Flames general manager Craig Button, will be the Flames' bench boss against the Avalanche. MacNeil has been with the Calgary organization for 23 years, including three seasons as the team's head coach (1979-82).

Assistant coaches Brian Skrudland and Rob Cookson will remain with the club, but it's not known in what capacity.

Gilbert, whose fate had been speculated on for weeks, posted a 42-56-17-6 record with the Flames, including this year's poor start.

Calgary dropped a 4-2 decision to the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, as the Flames saw their road losing skid hit seven games.

The Flames have been outscored 22-8 in the first three games of this trip.

Craig Conroy and Jarome Iginla scored goals for Calgary, while Roman Turek faced just 17 shots in the game, but made only 14 saves to absorb the loss.

Iginla, last year's regular season scoring champ, scored his sixth goal of the season and just his second over the past eight games. He also has 11 assists on the year, but only one in the last nine games.

The Flames, whose last road win came in New Jersey back on November 5, are 4-7-0-2 on enemy ice this season.

Tonight will also be the first game back in Colorado for forwards Chris Drury and Stephane Yelle, who were dealt to the Flames prior to the start of the season for Derek Morris and forwards Dean McAmmond and Jeff Shantz.

Drury is Calgary's top scorer with 19 points in 24 games, with one goal and two assists in the past four games after going 10 games without a point. Yelle has recorded nine points in 25 games, with one assist and no goals in the past 12 games.

Colorado also comes into Tuesday's tilt on a losing note after getting blanked 1-0 by the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

The Avalanche were without all-star forward Peter Forsberg, who left a 2-2 tie against Minnesota on Friday with a groin injury, and is not likely to suit up tonight.

David Aebischer was the tough luck loser, as he allowed just a single goal on 18 shots for Colorado, which saw its six-game unbeaten streak come to an end (2-0-4).

On the milestone watch, captain Joe Sakic remains three goals shy of 500 for his career, while he is one assist short of matching Peter Stastny's 789 for 26th on the all-time list.

Sakic, who has spent his entire 15-year career with the Avs, leads the team with 14 goals and 28 points.

The Flames, who skated to a tie with the Avs earlier in the season, are unbeaten in their last five with Colorado (1-0-4), but are just 10-3-4 in the last 17 matchups.

Calgary is also unbeaten in its last four in Denver (2-0-2).

with files from