With the Calgary flames working hard to not only secure better playoff positioning but to try and secure 1st in their division the Avalanche should have known they were going to come out motivated tonight. Unfortunately, it appeared that they may have missed the memo.
The Flames got off to a quick start in part due in part to an early penalty that joe Colborn took 23 seconds into the period. The Flames capitalized on that power player opportunity to make take an early 1-0 lead.
If we are being completely fair the goal that Sean Monohan scored for the Flames on the power play was a thing of complete luck. Right as Monohan goes to shoot the puck you can see that Matt Nieto of the Avalanche reaches his stick in and tips his stick so instead of getting a clean shot off (which, if he did it probably, would have been buried cleanly anyways) Monahans attempted shot ends up going right into Avalanche defensemen Erik Johnsons skate and into the goal. There was nothing Pickard could have done on that one.
Pickard looked solid in nets for the avalanche for much of the night. This was demonstrated not long after the goal when the Flames broke in on a 3 on 1 odd man rush and Pickard not only made the save but held onto the rebound and didn’t allow the flames to get a second shot.
The first-period didn’t show much sustained pressure by the avalanche for any real extended periods of time, but there were a few golden opportunities that they were able to generate, none better than when Mikko Rantanen got the puck at point blank range in front of the goal and was absolutely robbed by Brian Elliot.
To Duchene’s credit at least to end the first period he was not giving up, and because of this he took the puck into the attacking zone knowing that there was not enough time left on the clock to even get a clean shot off and was taken down and drew a penalty that resulted in the Avalanche starting the second period with a full 2 minute power play.
The Avalanche failed to score on the power play to start the period, but with 9 seconds left in the penalty, they were awarded a second power play when the Flames were called for a delay of game penalty.
Unofrotunatly much of this power play was spent along the boards and in the corners being held up killing the time by the Flames. The Avalanche have got to get some bite back into their power play if they are going to get any more points the rest of this season.
Shortly after the second power play opportunity for the Avalanche ended Micheal Ferland got a nice feed from Sean Monohan who was behind the Avalanche net and finished the chance for his 15th goal of the season to make it 2-0 for the Flames.
In the 2nd period, Sven Andrighetto picked up his 6th goal of the season with a goal to keep in reach of getting the game back under control. In the third period though unfortunately not much more went right for the Avalanche as they allowed another goal to the Flames to make it 3-1.
The Avalanche pulled their goalie for one last effort to get a couple back and have a miracle finish, and while it didn’t quite work tonight it did come close for a minute.
With 1:54 left in the game Sven Andrighetto blasted a slap shot from just over the blue line to bring them back within one goal. The miracle finish fizzled just a bit too little and a bit too late as the Flames netted an empty-netter to make the final score 4-2.
Will add quotes from players and video shortly.
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