After falling in Game 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Colorado Avalanche took down the Calgary Flames 3-2 in overtime at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night in Game 2 to even the first-round series at 1-1.
The Avs now return to the home ice of Pepsi Center for the next two outings, with Game 3 on Monday night. Following Game 4 on Wednesday, the clubs will travel back to Calgary for the fifth contest two days later.
Recapping Game 2
Matt Nieto scored Colorado's first goal of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 2 when he lit the lamp shorthanded at the 7:16 mark of the second frame, but Rasmus Andersson soon answered for the Flames on the power play to tie the score at 1-1.
Calgary took the lead on a marker from Sean Monahan midway through the third period, but J.T. Compher scored his first-career Stanley Cup Playoffs goal with just over two minutes left in regulation to force overtime. At the 8:27 mark of the OT period, Nathan MacKinnon tallied on a rush up the ice to win the game and secure the first victory of the series for the Avalanche.
Colorado netminder Philipp Grubauer made 35 saves in the winning effort while Calgary goaltender Mike Smith made 36 stops through regulation and overtime. Mikko Rantanen added two helpers for the Avs, and Gabriel Landeskog and Ian Cole each had an assist. Sam Bennett notched two assists for the Flames, while Mikael Backlund and Johnny Gaudreau had a helper apiece.
What To Watch
Putting in the Work
Seven different skaters for Colorado have averaged 20 or more minutes of time on ice through the first two games of the series against Calgary. Tyson Barrie (26:27), Nathan MacKinnon (25:45), Gabriel Landeskog (25:29), Mikko Rantanen (22:15), Samuel Girard (20:36), Erik Johnson (20:28) and Nikita Zadorov (20:03) have each surpassed the mark through Game 2.
In three regular season matchups, the Avalanche and Flames combined for an average of 8.00 goals per game between the two clubs. Through two games this postseason, the teams have scored nine goals combined, the second-fewest of any series.
Players To Watch
Colorado: Goaltender Philipp Grubauer
The Rosenheim, Germany, native recorded a postseason career-high 28 stops in Game 1 on Thursday. Grubauer then followed that performance with a 35-save outing in the 3-2 overtime win in Game 2 on Saturday to set another new personal best for saves in a playoff game. The 6-foot-1, 191-pound netminder enters Monday having won his past five starts in net at Pepsi Center, dating back to March 17.
Calgary: Center Sam Bennett
The 22-year-old has recorded three helpers over the first two games of the series for Calgary. Bennett is just one point behind his career high for the postseason, as he notched three goals and an assist over 11 games during the 2014-15 Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Flames. The Holland Landing, Ontario, native registered 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) over 71 regular-season contests for the Flames this season.
Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs' first-round series between the Avalanche and Flames is slated for 8 p.m. MT on Monday. The game can be watched locally on Altitude and will be televised nationally in the United States on CNBC and in Canada on CBC and TVA Sports 2. The radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio FM 92.5 in the Denver area or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.
The Avalanche will also be holding a special tailgate event outside of the west entrance of Pepsi Center before and during the game. Opening three hours prior to puck drop, fans can hang out, listen to live music, get some grub from food trucks and possibly win Game 3 tickets. For fans without tickets to the game, they're invited to stay during the contest and watch it on big screens outside. Tailgate chairs and food are welcome, but drinks of any sort are prohibited.