NHL Hockey

5
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Colorado 2 2 1 5
Calgary 1 0 0 1
1
Avalanche win series 4-1
Three Stars
1: Mikko Rantanen, Col (2G, 1A)
2: Colin Wilson, Col (2G, 1A)
3: Nathan MacKinnon, Col (3A)
7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET23:00 BRT, April 19, 2019
Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta  Attendance: 19,289

Avalanche looking to snuff Flames in Game 5

Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames

  1. The Avalanche beat the Flames, 3-2 in overtime in Game 4, despite trailing 2-0 with 12:00 left in the third period. It was the first time since moving to Colorado that the Avs had won a playoff game when trailing by two goals in the final 12 minutes.
  2. Colorado is 9-2 (.818) all-time when leading a best-of-7 series 3-1, which actually ranks as the fourth-worst record all-time. The Avs have won in Game 5 each of the last two times they've been up 3-1, but they're just 3-8 in their last 11 potential series-clinching games.
  3. Meanwhile, the Flames are one of 15 teams to never rally from a 3-1 series deficit, going 0-8 in such series. Of the 15 teams, only three have more losses. Calgary has forced a Game 6 in three of the last four series it has trailed 3-1.
  4. Mikko Rantanen scored with 2:50 left in regulation to tie the game, and then scored the overtime winner. It was his first career multi-goal playoff game, and the Avs are now 8-1-0 in his career (regular and postseason) when he scores more than once.
  5. Three Avalanche players (Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Barrie) had seven shots on goal in Game 4, just the third time any team has achieved that in the last six postseasons.
  6. Mike Smith made 49 saves in Game 4 after making 50 saves in Game 3. The last goalie to post back-to-back 49-save performances in the postseason was Curtis Joseph, who did so with the Blues in 1993 (61 and 57, both double overtime games).
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Being regular season conference champs hasn't meant much in the Stanley Cup playoffs this spring.

The Calgary Flames must win at home Friday in Game 5 of their first-round series against the Colorado Avalanche if they hope to avoid the same fate as the Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning -- an early exit.

It may not be as shocking as the Lightning being swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets, but the Flames -- who finished second overall in the league and won 50 games -- are on the ropes, down 3-1 to Colorado.

"We've got to go home and play our best game in Game 5. That's what we have to do. We have to win one game and take it from there," Flames coach Bill Peters said after his team fell 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday.

That was the second time in the series that the Flames surrendered a goal in the final three minutes of regulation and then lost in overtime.

On Wednesday, Calgary forward Mikael Backlund was in the penalty box for a tripping infraction when Mikko Rantanen scored the game-tying goal, failed to score on a golden chance early in overtime and then was on the ice when Rantanen netted the game-winner.

"It's tough," Backlund said. "I took a bad penalty and then I had a chance to redeem myself, and instead, they score in front of me again. It's going to be a long night -- a tough night.

"We have nothing to lose now. I don't think a lot of people think we can do it, but we know we can. We've faced a lot of adversity this year and if there's any group that I believe in and know they can do it, it's this group right here."

The Avalanche haven't won a playoff series since 2008. They may have been the eighth seed in the Western Conference and had the lowest point total of any playoff squad, but they also were the league's hottest club down the stretch, posting an 8-0-2 record to earn a spot and have carried that momentum

"I think it's important that you go to the playoffs with a good push, and that's exactly what we did," Rantanen said. "We had rough times in the season, but the way we finished ... that's how we want to finish the season before playoffs. Get hot at the right time."

Here's one way to look at how well the Avs played in their two home games in this series. Calgary goalie Mike Smith combined to make 99 saves in those clashes, yet the Flames lost both.

Now, the Avalanche have three chances to punch a ticket to the second round.

"Up 3-1, but the next one is going to be tough," said Colorado goalie Philipp Grubauer, who has sparkled in his net. "To end the team's season is always the hardest. You now they're going to come out in their own barn, and they're going to be ready for sure."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 19, 2019

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