After taking the first game of the series on Thursday, the Calgary Flames looked to take a commanding 2-0 lead over the Colorado Avalanche. Coming off a 4-0 win, the Flames would keep the same lineup heading into game two. The Avalanche would surprisingly do the same, but hoping this time around to get a few shots past Mike Smith.
The Avalanche got off to a much better start in game two, controlling play throughout the entire first period. They would get plenty of opportunities to score their first goal of the series, but Smith would once again shut the door completely. The teams would remain scoreless heading into the second period.
In the middle stanza, the Avalanche would finally solve Smith off a goal from Matt Nieto. The shorthanded unassisted goal came off of a T.J Brodie mishap, where he fumbled the puck at the blue line and then proceeded to lose his stick. That Avalanche lead luckily wouldn’t last long, as the Flames would get revenge on their next power play. A beautiful behind the back pass from Sam Bennett went right to a wide open Rasmus Andersson, who would not be denied. The teams would continue to trade chances, but the score would not change going into the third.
More scoring chances would be had for both teams in the third, but the Flames would be the ones to capitalize on one first. In somewhat of an odd play, the puck would deflect and find it’s way to Sean Monahan in front who would roof the shot past Philip Grubauer. With just over seven minutes to go, the Flames had the lead after playing sub par hockey up until that point.
Unfortunately with the Avalanche goalie pulled, the Avalanche would strike quickly with the extra man. J.T. Compher would bury the lose puck in front of the net, tying the game with just over two minutes remaining. Matthew Tkachuk would have a glorious opportunity with just under a minute to go, but alas the game would head to overtime.
In the extra frame, the Flames would get the first glorious chance with Michael Frolik being stopped point blank by Grubauer. The puck would go immediately the other way, with Nathan MacKinnon scoring on a perfect shot that went high glove on Smith. The goal would give the Avalanche the 3-2 win, tying the series at one.
|All Situations||5v5||5v5 SVA|
5v5 Player Stats
- Monahan had a team-high 46.9% CF
- Giordano had a game-low 29.7% CF
- Tkachuk had three individual high-danger CF, three other Flames had one each
- Landeskog had a game-high 80.0% CF, and led his team with three individual high-danger CF
- MacKinnon and Johnson both had nine individual CF
- Calvert had a team-low 33.3% CF
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Bennett – Jankowski – Neal
Mangiapane – Ryan – Hathaway
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Fantenberg – Andersson
Landeskog – MacKinnon – Kerfoot
Wilson – Soderberg – Rantanen
Compher – Brassard – Jost
Nieto – Calvert – Bourque
Girard – Johnson
Zadorov – Barrie
Cole – Nemeth
Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff
Thoughts on the Game
Somewhat of a deflating game after the fantastic game one on Thursday night. The Flames simply were not at their best last night, and should consider themselves fortunate to have had a shot to win the game. Yes they had the lead with two minutes remaining, but the Avalanche were never out of this game. Colorado was the better team and deserved the win. It’s simply now a best of five.
The most notable aspect of last night’s game was how the teams’ best players played like their worst. Sure Monahan was able to score, and Gaudreau picked up an assist, but until that point they were not playing like themselves. Gaudreau is being seriously hampered by a variety of factors, such as receiving double coverage and consistent wrist slashes. Monahan on the other hand, just has not looked like himself in a while. The goal is most likely a huge boost for him, but before that he was almost invisible. Elias Lindholm also falls into that category, as he also has been quiet thus far. The team needs this trio to be their go-to line, but at the moment it’s more effective to put out the ever dominant fourth line.
The big question going into game three, is do they make a lineup chance? Does Austin Czarnik or an alternate defenseman draw in? Or do the lines simply need a bit of jumbling.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Ugly
Good: So far this playoffs, all of the goals scored by Calgary have come from in house draft picks. That is organizational depth.
Bad: T.J. Brodie did not have his best outing. Two turnovers led to two separate breakaways, with only one being converted on for the Avalanche. His demotion to the third pairing was appropriate.
Ugly: The Flames may have had five power play opportunities, but the officiating was atrocious last night. Look at Gadureau’s “embellishment” penalty for context.
Round 1 Game 3
April 15, 2019
Series tied 1-1
Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images