Well, did everyone have a good time this week at the Pepsi Center? How are those vocal cords right now?

The grades:

Mikko Rantanen (A) – The hero of this one. His great tip with 2:50 left tied it up, and you saw what he did in OT with that lethal one-timer of his. Like a lot of Avs, he didn’t seem to have much jump in the first 30 minutes of the game, but, boy, did he make up for it.

Nathan MacKinnon (B+) – The Flames did a better job taking away his shooting lanes in this one, especially on the power play. But he still had a heck of a night. His lead pass on the tying Rantanen goal was a thing of beauty. He dangled the puck a little too much at times, getting it stripped occasionally.

Gabe Landeskog (B+) – Continues to be thisclose to scoring a goal in this series. He had a couple Grade A chances, but Mike Smith continues to bedevil him. He drew the penalty that got the power play in which Rantanen scored the tying goal. He seemed a hair slow tonight at times in the first two periods, like several other Avs. But he battled hard.

Alexander Kerfoot (C+) – Just not a lot to talk about offensively. Had no shots on net and just was kind of on the periphery most of the night. Had decent puck-possession numbers, but didn’t do too much with it. Was dropped off the MacKinnon line by later in the game.

Carl Soderberg (B) – Carl picked a good time to finally have something of an offensive impact in the series. His cross over to Rantanen was just the kind of setup big No. 96 needed to finish the game. He did a good job on the PK most of the night too.

J.T. Compher (B+) – His goal finally got the Avs on the board, in the third period. Continues to struggle in the faceoff dot, though. I thought he had good legs in this one, though, and he continues to be a clutch player for the Avs.

Sven Andrighetto (C-) – Only played 6:48 in regulation and was on the ice for a goal against. He was not happy at being benched at the start of the playoffs, but he’s yet to show Jared Bednar that it was a big mistake.

Matt Calvert (B) – Chipped in with an assist and, as always, made a pain of himself to the Flames. He’s been playing a bit banged up, not practicing much with the team of late. But he’s shown he’s a gamer.

Tyson Jost (C) – Another kind of uneventful game offensively. Only played eight minutes in regulation, though. I think he should get a little more ice time, frankly, but he’s also got to earn it. I think he’s worked hard defensively, though.

Colin Wilson (B-) – He got a lot of time on the first power-play unit, as kind of a pivot man in the middle. I thought he had some good moments with the puck, and five shots on net through regulation is a good showing for him. Unfortunately, none went in.

Matt Nieto (B) – Played a mostly fine depth-liner kind of game. No shorties for him this time, though. He did chip in with an assist, however, on the goal by Compher that got them back in the game. He’s had a pretty nice series.

Gabriel Bourque (C+) – Only played 5:08 in regulation, yet had four hits. That’s about the extent of the analysis I can make on his game.

Ian Cole (C+) – Gave everyone two minutes of terror by shooting a puck into the stands in overtime, for a delay-of-game penalty. The Avs’ PK did a very nice job killing it off, though. He had his usual Ian Cole kind of physical, sweaty game otherwise.

Erik Johnson (C+) – Not his best game probably, but he battled. Took a high-sticking minor in the second period that resulted in Calgary’s power-play goal. He had OK puck-possession numbers, but played almost 24 minutes.

Cale Makar (B+) – Not quite the galactic events of the other night, but at the end of the night, his stat line read: 20:06, plus-1, 29 Corsi events for, 12 against. That is very, very, very good.

Patrik Nemeth (B+) – He’s quietly had a pretty nice series, and it’ll be interesting to see what Jared Bednar does when Sam Girard is ready to play again. He played more than 18 minutes, with a Corsi of 22-10. That’ll work.

Tyson Barrie (A-) – Seven shots on goal, one assist, four hits, 34-19 Corsi. Excellent game, excellent playoffs, excellent last six weeks.

Nikita Zadorov (B-) – A bit of a struggle at times time for Big Z, but he did register six hits and didn’t do anything glaringly bad defensively. I thought he got a bit better as the game went on, like his team.

Philipp Grubauer (A) – He really made some big saves, none bigger than that pad stop in OT on Mikael Backlund The Flames put 37 shots on him, but only managed a fluky power-play goal in the second and a rebound goal in the third where his teammates didn’t do much to help him.

Adrian Dater

Adrian Dater has been covering the Avs since their inception. In 2015, he became the lead NHL national columnist with Bleacher Report, where he worked until 2017 before joining BSN Denver.

  • What a game!

    I thought Mikko was bad early on, lots of giveaways, one of which leading to a CGY goal..But boy did he have a hell of a last 30 min!

    Pad save from Grubauer in OT was on Backlund by the way.

  • Grubi OT save was on Backlund not Tkachuk but yes I agree with these. Great that they found their game in the 3rd. This team is clutch.

  • Maybe I’m seeing things from a different perspective, but I feel that guys like Calvert, Andrighetto and Nieto are really buzzing and pushing the pace when we need to give our top guys a break. I’ve enjoyed watching them win puck battles and tire out the opponents. I feel like they’re a bit of an unsung factor in the success the Avs are having.

    • Playing Bourque and Andrighetto so little this would be an easy way to get him back in the line up.

      • Yeah, I think I’d sit Sven and Brassard (if need be), and roll with 7 D. For whatever reason, it works with this team.

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