MacKinnon scores in OT, Avalanche beat Flames to even series | AP sports

16 Avril, 2019, 11:55 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • A deep dive behind the numbers to see who has the advantage in the Flames vs. Avalanche first-round series

Matthew Tkachuk with two goals, including an empty-netter, and Mikael Backlund also scored as Calgary won its first playoff game since beating Anaheim 4-3 in overtime on May 5, 2015.

Yet, Calgary's 37-year-old goaltender held the fort until midway through the game when Matt Nieto capitalized on a T.J. Brodie gaffe at Colorado's blue line, raced in alone and buried the opener past Smith. Nathan MacKinnon leads Colorado with one goal, Mikko Rantanen has two assists and Erik Johnson has nine shots on goal.

The short-handed goal marked the first time in 45 shots the Avs were able to solve the man who was previously considered to be the biggest question mark heading into the series.

From that point through the end of the game, chants of "Smitty, Smitty, Smitty" broke out regularly from the raucous, sold-out, red jersey-clad crowd. Smitty bailed us out too many ties to count.

"It felt a lot better than the other", Smith quipped, when asked how tonight's chants felt.

With the win, the Avalanche have tied the series up at 1-1. Called a goal on the ice, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar challenged it, suggesting it was deflected by a high stick, but the goal stood after a lengthy review. "I've said it before: Nate's a superstar and that's what superstars do". Maybe those stakes explain why they're so focused right now, but either way, it seems like Colorado could make this an interesting Round 1 series.

Unfortunately, the Flames not only got back into the game with a power play goal, they mustered some play in front of Philipp Grubauer and got a second.

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"First of all, (Grubauer) makes the save and it's a big save because of the time and the score and you're in overtime and he made a lot of big saves tonight, as did Smith, but to give us that save at that time".

It took until 14:25 of the second period for the game's first goal, but it was worth the wait as Mangiapane's unassisted goal was a highlight-reel effort. I just wanted to bring it to my backhand and I saw open ice there.

In a second period of momentum swings, Calgary tied it at 1 at 12:26 on Andersson's first career playoff goal. He didn't have almost the same impact on this game, and that's what Zadorov can provide that no other player on the Avs can.

Well, he put a black mark on it. Nathan MacKinnon ruined their night, and that's what we're all here for.

"For us, we're not going to just roll over because we're running into a hot goalie".

Game 3 of the best-of-seven series will be Monday in Denver.

NOTES: Smith finished with 36 saves, while Grubauer had 35. Winning the game in convincing fashion with a 4-0 shutout, they look to repeat the performance on Saturday night for Game 2.

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