National Hockey League playoffs: Avalanche cruise past Flames into second round

Arnold Nichols
April 21, 2019

Once it did, he dropped to his left knee to give a little extra.

Colin Wilson and Mikko Rantanen each collected two goals and one assist as the Colorado Avalanche extinguished the Calgary Flames with a 5-1 road victory on Friday night to win their first-round playoff series in five games. Even from inside the arena in Denver, you could nearly feel the prayers coming from terrified Flames fans in Calgary when Mike Smith stayed down on the ice after the Avs' Colin Wilson came barrelling down the middle of the ice and crashed into him.

Great weekend of playoff action coming up in both the National Hockey League and NBA, some intriguing series matchups on the diamond, it's a pretty good time to be a fan and/or a sports bettor.

Flames forwards combined for 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists). They'll need to win tonight's game - Game 5 - to extend their season.

"Some of the strengths we had during the regular season weren't strengths in Round 1", Peters said. The Flames lost four times in a row only once in their first 82 games but did it in five against the Avalanche. "That's what we have to do". After Johnny Gaudreau first failed to convert on a penalty shot and missed on a breakaway, Rantanen doubled the lead with 4:22 remaining in the first period when he banked a sharp-angled shot off goalie Mike Smith. Then he slightly raised his left pad just as Backlund shot it.

Philipp Grubauer may be in the middle of his coming out party.

"Got to be better, obviously", Monahan said.

"Desperation save", he said. "We've got to produce".

Smith had another busy night in stopping 49 of 52 shots.

Although the scores might look close in Games 2 and 4 - both overtime losses - the Flames have been getting whipped the last three games.


Alexander Radulov and Mats Zuccarello joined Hintz in scoring on the power play, and Andrew Cogliano also tallied for the Stars, whose four goals in the first period were one shy of the franchise record for a single period in the playoffs. Smith was briefly checked out before settling into a groove.

If Gaudreau is able to use his speed and shifty play to buy himself some more room on the ice, it could lead to an increase in shot attempts as well.

Colorado went 8-0-2 in games 70 to 81 before finally clinching the second wild-card spot.

"We stuck with it".

"I liked the way we played, I liked the position we put ourselves in late in the third", the coach said. "We kept playing our game".

"He really took control and lead their team". "(Friday was) just another step for me as an individual and I'll take it and hopefully improve".

David Pastrnak scored twice, Brad Marchand added a goal and two assists, and visiting Boston held on to defeat Toronto to even the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series at two games apiece. And shortly after that, Landeskog clanged a shot off the post.

The Flames, after claiming the top seed in the Western Conference, are first to be bounced on their side of the bracket. The Avs are hoping to follow suit against the Flames.

The Avalanche advanced to the second round of playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Notes: Avalanche centre Derick Brassard (illness) and defenceman Sam Girard (upper body) were Colorado's scratches.

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