On a Roll: Avalanche Win Fifth Straight, Extinguish Flames 4-1
The Colorado Avalanche are really rolling now.
Nazem Kadri got a standing ovation from Avalanche fans early in the game, but the Flames didn’t have much else to celebrate the rest of the evening. The Avalanche got out to another early lead and never looked back, winning by a score of 4-1.
With the win, the Avalanche moved into a tie for second in the Central with the Winnipeg Jets at 71 points. The Jets currently hold the tiebreaker with regulation wins, but have played two more games than Colorado. With another loss, the Flames sit four points back of a playoff spot.
Nathan MacKinnon, Alex Newhook, Mikko Rantanen, and Denis Malgin scored the goals for the Avalanche. Valeri Nichushkin chipped in with two assists.
Alexandar Georgiev stopped 28 shots in net.
Tyler Toffoli was the lone goal scorer for the Flames.
The Avalanche, once again, got off to a hot start. Maybe not four goals in 11 minutes hot like the night before, but not too far off.
And for the second night in a row, it was MacKinnon who get the party started.
After a strong forecheck by the Avalanche created a turnover, Valeri Nichushkin floated a puck into the high slot. That pass landed right on the stick of the red hot MacKinnon. He went around Nikita Zadorov and fired the puck over Jakob Markstrom’s glove to give the Avalanche the early lead on their first shot of the game.
And five minutes later, they extended that lead.
Alex Newhook scored his 13th of the year on a play that looked very familiar to Avalanche fans. The young forward took a puck off the boards and labeled it glove side, giving the Avalanche the early two goal lead.
The Flames did get a short two man advantage late in the first period, but were unable to take advantage of it.
In the second period, the Flames pushed the pace a bit more, generating 17 shots on net. But it was the Avalanche who found the scoresheet early again.
On their second powerplay of the game, the Avalanche managed to beat Markstrom. The puck came around from the horn to Nichushkin, who blasted a one-timer top shelf. On second look, the puck barely deflected off Rantanen in front of the net. That slight deflection gave Rantanen his team leading 38th goal of the season.
The Flames did get one back late in the period on a powerplay of their own. A blocked shot deflected to Toffoli at the side of the net, and he was able to put the puck past Georgiev before he could get to the post. That was as close as they would get.
Just 4:12 into the third period, the Avalanche got a herculean effort from…Denis Malgin? The Swiss forward weaved through the defense, and beat Markstrom under his glove, restoring the three goal lead for his team. It was one of the prettier goals of the season for the Avalanche.
Things did get feisty. Mikhail Backlund threw a hit on MacKinnon along the boards, and the star did not like it. It appeared to catch him up high on the follow through. He took a penalty retaliating, and a few minutes later, Bowen Byram got into it with Backlund.
Nothing escalated too far, however. The Flames didn’t muster up much in the third period, and the Avalanche walked away with a 4-1 victory. That’s now five straight wins for the team, and 13 wins in their last 17.
The Avalanche will take Sunday off. They’ll be back at it on Monday night at home, when the Vegas Golden Knights come to town. The game starts at 7 PM MST.