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Old friend Brian Elliott was in net tonight for Calgary, and Calvin Pickard backstopped the Avs as Semyon Varlamov continued to deal with his groin. The first half of the period was characterized by low-event hockey as both teams got their legs back under them after the Christmas break. Avs defenseman Nikita Zadorov took a puck to the face early in the frame, but returned to the bench well before intermission.
Carl Soderberg was tripped with 8:11 remaining, which allowed the Avs the opportunity to continue their streak of terrible power plays at home. Even though they did look better than usual, including a slight shuffle in forward personnel, they generated only one shot.
At 18:22, Nathan MacKinnon‘s break through the neutral zone drew three players to him with his speed. He dished it to Gabriel Landeskog at the halfboards right after crossing into the zone. The Captain roofed it gloveside, and the Avs took the 1-0 lead. The goal marked Landeskog’s first true 5v5 goal this season.
Early in the second, the hockey gods decided to smite the Avalanche with yet another own goal. Tkachuk’s pass bounced off Fedor Tyutin‘s skate and ended up behind Pickard. 1-1 tie.
Mikhail Grigorenko was whistled for interference at 7:42. MacKinnon managed to get a great shorthanded break, but it was thwarted at the last moment. However, shortly after the power play expired, a skipping puck bounced off Francois Beauchemin‘s skate and behind Pickard. Sam Bennett was credited with the goal. 2-1 Flames.
The Flames generated a lot of momentum after the score and re-entered the zone buzzing. A high shot bounced off the glass high behind Pickard, ricocheted off the back of his elbow, and into the back of the net. 3-1 Flames. Gaudreau was credited with the goal.
Two minutes later, Jarome Iginla fired a huge slapper from near the blueline. The former Flame found the back of the net. 3-2 Flames.
Next shift, MacKinnon’s speed drew another penalty as he lead the rush. However, the Avalanche power play continued to be the Avalanche power play. Elliott made a few saves, but the Avs special teams continued to flail. In return, the Flames poked the puck from beneath Pickard’s glove on their next possession. It bounced of Beauchemin’s skate and found the back of the net for his second own-goal of the night. 4-2 Flames.
The Flames then paraded to the box. The Avs had 1:34 of 5v3 time, and generated only 2 shots. The period ended shortly after to a chorus of boos.
Avs had another power play in the third to make it 0/4, and Gaudreau finished a great passing play with Calgary’s first off their stick goal tonight. Blake Comeau felt he was interfered with in the neutral zone on the play, yelled at the ref, and received an unsportsmanlike conduct and major penalty. He was ejected from the game as there was less than 10 minutes left to play.
Landeskog managed to net another pretty goal, but moments later, John Mitchell took an ill-advised penalty, and Calgary tipped their own puck past Pickard on the power play. 6-3 Flames.
Rantanen was boarded by Tkachuk with a minute remaining. The Avalanche would not score on the power play, and the final scored would be 6-3 Flames.
- Calvin Pickard (played very well despite five tipped goals)
- Gabe Landeskog (2G)
- Beauchemin’s skate (2G)
PLAY OF THE GAME
Calgary’s tick-tack-toe goal, finished by Gaudreau in the third period, highlighted the skill of the Flame’s roster and represented the only goal to cleanly beat Pickard tonight.
Own Goal #1
Own Goal #2
Own Goal #3
Own Goal #4
BY THE NUMBERS
The Avs were dreadfully unlucky, but Calgary’s insistence on putting the puck on net paid off tonight.
Avs head to Dallas to play a road game. Puck drop is at 6:30 Mountain on Thursday.