NHL Hockey

Avalanche looking to snuff Flames in Game 5

(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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Teams Score Time
NCAA FB
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
NFL
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
Arizona  
NHL
Tampa Bay 0 F
Carolina 2
Teams Score Time
Air Force   Fri 9:00pm
Boise State  
Utah   Fri 9:00pm
USC  
Boston College   Sat 12:00pm
Rutgers  
California   Sat 12:00pm
Ole Miss  
Elon   Sat 12:00pm
Wake Forest  
LSU   Sat 12:00pm
Vanderbilt  
Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Wisconsin  
Southern Mississippi   Sat 12:00pm
Alabama  
Tennessee   Sat 12:00pm
Florida  
Western Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Syracuse  
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Auburn   Sat 3:30pm
Texas A&M  
Louisville   Sat 3:30pm
Florida State  
Miami (OH)   Sat 3:30pm
Ohio State  
SMU   Sat 3:30pm
TCU  
UCF   Sat 3:30pm
Pittsburgh  
Washington   Sat 3:30pm
BYU  
Central Michigan   Sat 4:00pm
Miami  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
Old Dominion   Sat 7:00pm
Virginia  
Oregon   Sat 7:00pm
Stanford  
Charlotte   Sat 7:30pm
Clemson  
Oklahoma State   Sat 7:30pm
Texas  
Notre Dame   Sat 8:00pm
Georgia  
Colorado   Sat 10:00pm
Arizona State  
UCLA   Sat 10:30pm
Washington State  
Teams Score Time
Interleague
Seattle 4 F
Pittsburgh 1
San Francisco 11 F
Boston 3
Tampa Bay 8 F
Los Angeles 7
Seattle   12:35pm
Pittsburgh  
San Francisco   1:05pm
Boston  
American League
Kansas City 0 F
Oakland 1
Los Angeles 3 F
New York 2
Toronto 11 F
Baltimore 10
Detroit 1 F
Cleveland 2
Chicago 3 F
Minnesota 1
Texas 2 F
Houston 3
Los Angeles   6:35pm
New York  
Toronto   7:05pm
Baltimore  
Detroit   7:15pm
Cleveland  
Kansas City   7:40pm
Minnesota  
National League
Washington 1 F
St. Louis 5
New York 7 F
Colorado 4
Miami 4 F
Arizona 5
Philadelphia 4 F
Atlanta 1
San Diego 2 F
Milwaukee 1
Cincinnati 3 F
Chicago 2
Philadelphia   12:10pm
Atlanta  
San Diego   4:10pm
Milwaukee  
St. Louis   7:15pm
Chicago  
Teams Score Time
Tennessee   8:20pm
Jacksonville  
Atlanta   Sun 1:00pm
Indianapolis  
Baltimore   Sun 1:00pm
Kansas City  
Cincinnati   Sun 1:00pm
Buffalo  
Denver   Sun 1:00pm
Green Bay  
Detroit   Sun 1:00pm
Philadelphia  
Miami   Sun 1:00pm
Dallas  
New York   Sun 1:00pm
New England  
Oakland   Sun 1:00pm
Minnesota  
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
Arizona  
New York   Sun 4:05pm
Tampa Bay  
Houston   Sun 4:25pm
Los Angeles  
New Orleans   Sun 4:25pm
Seattle  
Pittsburgh   Sun 4:25pm
San Francisco  
Los Angeles   Sun 8:20pm
Cleveland  
Teams Score Time
Florida 3 F
Montreal 4
New Jersey 4 F
New York 3
St. Louis 2 F
Washington 3
Tampa Bay 0 F
Carolina 2
Toronto 3 F
Ottawa 4
Minnesota 1 F
Winnipeg 4
Detroit 1 F
Chicago 2
San Jose 4 F
Calgary 6
Boston   7:00pm
Philadelphia  
Columbus   7:00pm
Pittsburgh  
Florida   7:00pm
Montreal  
Dallas   9:00pm
Colorado  
Vancouver   9:00pm
Edmonton  
Vegas   10:30pm
Los Angeles  
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 19 Martin Truex Jr 24
2 4 Kevin Harvick 3
3 2 Brad Keselowski 18
4 9 Chase Elliott 8
5 12 Ryan Blaney 23
6 88 Alex Bowman 19
7 24 William Byron 14
8 42 Kyle Larson 15
9 22 Joey Logano 22
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 2 Tyler Reddick 4
2 20 Christopher Bell 2
3 19 Brandon Jones 6
4 00 Cole Custer 1
5 7 Justin Allgaier 3
6 9 Noah Gragson 36
7 08 Gray Gaulding 16
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 13
9 18 Riley Herbst 15
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9