DENVER (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist and Ivan Prosvetov stopped 30 shots as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Calgary Flames 3-1 Saturday night for their sixth win in seven games.
Ryan Johansen added a goal and Jonathan Drouin had a first-period power-play score for Colorado, the seventh straight game in which the Avalanche scored on the power play.
Mikael Backlund scored for Calgary, which wrapped up a four-game road trip at 2-2. The Flames outshot the Avalanche 16-6 in the third period but Prosvetov turned away one scoring chance after another to help preserve the win. “It wasn’t a ton of work but at times during the game there were some flurries and I thought he was outstanding,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “He looked really quick and strong and covers a lot of net. He's a big guy." Both teams were stretched physically coming into the game, completing the back end of a back-to-back set.
“I think we had a few guys lacking a little bit of energy tonight as I’m sure they did,” said Bednar. “They played last night, too. So, if you’re ever going to get a back to back, it’s nice that both teams are not playing on full tanks.
"But I thought our overall team effort was pretty good. The penalty kill was great. Again, we got a good goaltending performance. We scored some timely goals. They came at us in the third. But we had a couple of shifts and a couple of flurries ourselves so we could build that lead up.”
Calgary shook off a bit of a slow start, attacking the Colorado zone through the final two periods. “They're a good team and they're not giving you much,” said Calgary's Rasmus Andersson. “But we kept pushing and pushing, and today that wasn't enough.” Colorado extended its lead to 2-0 when Johansen chased down a loose puck deep in Calgary’s zone, carrying it with speed behind the net ahead of Flames defenders and knocking in a wraparound shot at 10:10 of the second. “I was running out of options quick,” Johansen said. “I felt like it was an impossible angle to score from on my backhand. So I thought the next best thing would be a wraparound and it worked out.”
The Flames broke through for a goal on Backlund’s wrist shot from up close off a feed from Jonathan Huberdeau at 12:03 of the second.
Colorado answered 34 seconds later as MacKinnon pulled up just inside the blue line and wristed a shot past goalie Dan Vladar, who had 21 saves. Cale Makar picked up the puck in Calgary’s zone and got it out to Valeri Nichushkin, who shoveled a lead pass to MacKinnon to set up the long-distance score.
The Avalanche opened the scoring at 6:31 of the first with Drouin's goal. He got a centering pass from Mikko Rantanen and beat Vladar with a wrist shot from between the circles.
Flames: Return home to host the Las Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night.
Avalanche: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl
Dennis Georgatos, The Associated Press