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THE SKINNY: FLAMES VS. AVALANCHE - GAME 4

Flames look to even up Western Conference First Round series

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

GAME 4 - WESTERN CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND - AVALANCHE LEAD SERIES 2-1

8:00 p.m. MT | TV: CBC/Sportsnet | Radio: Sportsnet 960 The FAN

 

SERIES SCHEDULE

Game 1: Flames 4, Avalanche 0

>> RELATED: Watch Game Recap
>> RELATED: Game Story

Game 2: Avalanche 3, Flames 2 (OT)

>> RELATED: Watch Game Recap
>> RELATED: Game Story

Game 3: Avalanche 6, Flames 2

>> RELATED: Watch Game Recap
>> RELATED: Game Story

Game 5: April 19, TBD - Scotiabank Saddledome
x-Game 6: April 21, TBD - Pepsi Center
x-Game 7: April 23, TBD - Scotiabank Saddledome

x-if necessary

 

LEADING SCORERS

Flames:

1. Sam Bennett (1-3-4)
2. Rasmus Andersson (1-2-3), Mikael Backlund (1-2-3)
3. Matthew Tkachuk (2-0-2), Sean Monahan (1-1-2)

Avalanche:

1. Nathan MacKinnon (3-1-4), Mikko Rantanen (1-3-4)
2. Matt Nieto (2-1-3), Ian Cole (0-3-3)
3. J.T. Compher (1-1-2), Erik Johnson (1-1-2), Gabriel Landeskog (0-0-2)

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Powerplay:

Flames - 25.0%
Avs - 12.5%

Penalty kill:

Flames - 87.5%
Avs - 75.0%

 

Video: Brendan Parker sets up Game 4

 

GAME-DAY STORIES

>>RELATED: SAY WHAT: 'COME WITH SOME ATTITUDE'
>>RELATED: LACE 'EM UP, JUUSO
>>RELATED: PROJECTED LINEUP

 

 

SETTIN' IT UP

Nathan MacKinnon (2G, 1A), Mikko Rantanen (1G, 1A), Matt Nieto (1G, 1A) and Erik Johnson (1G, 1A) all had multi-point efforts as Colorado skated to a 6-2 win in Game 3, giving the Avalanche a 2-1 series lead in this Western Conference First Round matchup.

Sam Bennett and T.J. Brodie supplied the offence for the Calgary, while Mike Smith made a playoff-career high 50 saves.

Smith now has a .926 save percentage and a 2.87 goals-against average in three stars.

The Flames did not practice on Tuesday, instead holding a series of meetings at the team hotel to review the Game 3 tape in more detail, and begin preparations for a pivotal Game 4 tonight.

"You're going to deal with adversity," said Noah Hanifin. "We dealt with it throughout the regular season and we're dealing with it now. You're not going to go throughout the playoffs without dealing with it.

"We're not in the spot we'd like, but we also know it's a series, and we have a great opportunity to change momentum and go back home tied. We know the situation; we know it's do-or-die for us."

As for the Avalanche, defenceman Samuel Girard - who missed Monday's tilt with an upper-body injury after absorbing a hit from Sam Bennett in overtime of Game 2 - was back on the ice Tuesday sporting a non-contact sweater and could be available for Jared Bednar's
crew tonight.

With Girard unavailable, Calgary native Cale Makar had a goal in his NHL debut after signing a three-year entry level contract with the Avalanche earlier this week. The rookie, who grew up cheering for the Flames, had two shots, two blocks, and played 14:19 on a pair with Patrik Nemeth.

Meanwhile, Derick Brassard (illness) was also absent from the Avs' optional skate Tuesday, and could miss a second straight game tonight.

 

Video: "Vali skates real well."

 

THIS, THAT, & THE OTHER

THIS: Rasmus Andersson is tied for second on the Flames in scoring with three points (1G, 2A) in three games. All three of rookie D man's points have come on the powerplay in this series, as he's seen increased time on the man-advantage (3:24 per game - sixth overall and third among blueliners). ... THAT: Travis Hamonic leads all playoff skaters in blocked shots with 17. Hamonic led the Flames in the regular season in that department with 167. ... THE OTHER: Sam Bennett leads the Flames in scoring with four points (1G, 3A) in the series, with three of the four (1G, 2A) have come on the power play. Bennett is also tied for second on the team in hits with 11. Bennett's four points tie a playoff career-high for him; he had four points (3G, 1A) in the 2014-15 playoffs in 11 games as a rookie.

 

Video: The Avs talk about Game 4

 

QUOTABLE

"If we come in (tonight), put a great effort in, we don't sit back, we go after them and dictate the play, we come out of here with hopefully a better result. They came into Calgary and got the split there, so hopefully we can do the same." - Matthew Tkachuk

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