Avalanche rally for OT win in Game 4 against Flames, add to series lead
Rantanen scores at 10:23 after tying it with 2:50 left in thirdby Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent
DENVER -- Mikko Rantanen scored 10:23 into overtime to give the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 win against the Calgary Flames in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.
The Avalanche took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series with Game 5 at Calgary on Friday.
Rantanen was in the right face-off circle when he one-timed Carl Soderberg's cross-ice pass inside the near post for his second goal of the game and third of the series.
"Carl made an unreal pass, so just tried to get it to the net, and it went in," said Rantanen, who tied the game 2-2 with a power-play goal with 2:50 left in the third period.
[WATCH: Flames vs. Avalanche Game 4 highlights | Complete series coverage]
Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer made 35 saves, none bigger than the one he made against Mikael Backlund 2:35 into overtime. Backlund took a point-blank shot from the right of the crease, and Grubauer, while sprawled on the ice, lifted his left pad to stop the puck.
"Desperation save," Grubauer said.
Backlund said: "I was trying to pull it back and give myself some room to lift it up. He made a good read, lifted his leg, and made a good save."
Video: CGY@COL, Gm4: Grubauer lifts pad for terrific OT save
Colorado killed a Calgary power play after Ian Cole was penalized for delay of game at 8:01 of overtime.
"It's tough," said Flames goalie Mike Smith, who made 49 saves. "We get a power play, we get a chance in overtime, and the goalie makes a good save, and they bury one of their chances. That's the way it goes, and the series keeps moving forward.
"Cross-seam pass to Rantanen, and he's got an unbelievable release. Buried it."
Rantanen redirected a pass from Nathan MacKinnon from the top of the left circle at the top of the crease to tie the game.
"Not great on power play before that, and we kind of decided we had to be the difference-maker," Rantanen said. "Nate made an unbelievable pass to me at the net, and it went in."
Video: CGY@COL, Gm4: MacKinnon sets up Rantanen for PPG
The Avalanche got within 2-1 with 11:50 remaining in the third. J.T. Compher scored on a rebound after Matt Nieto passed to Matt Calvert in the slot.
"It was a great pass by [Nieto] from behind the net to [Calvert] going to the net like he always does," Compher said. "We like to play with layers going to the net. He got stopped, the puck popped out to me, and I was able to put it in."
The Flames took a 1-0 lead at 3:25 of the second period when Elias Lindholm scored a power-play goal. Lindholm won a face-off in the right circle back to Mark Giordano, who gave the puck back. Lindholm's shot from the right point hit defenseman Patrik Nemeth and trickled into the net.
Derek Ryan made it 2-0 at 6:58 of the third when he scored on the rebound of Juuso Valimaki's shot.
"It felt like we stopped playing a little and let them come to us waves after waves," Lindholm said. "It's tough. We played well, Smitty played well for us. I think still we can play better than we did, but it's a step in the right direction from last game (a 6-2 loss)."
Video: CGY@COL, Gm4: Ryan cleans up rebound down low
Smith has made 99 saves in the past two games.
"It's about winning, the team winning," he said. "I'm just one little cog. It's nice to have personal success, but when you don't get the results, it doesn't matter. You need to do more. This one stings, especially when you have the lead with 10 minutes left in the third."
They said it
"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. I liked a lot of things we did tonight. Goaltending is good again. We had some looks that could've changed the complexion. It was 2-1 there, if we can chip a few pucks and get a few pucks out, but we weren't able to do that." -- Flames coach Bill Peters
"We've [come back] a few times this year, and there's a belief in this room that no matter what the score is, we can come back. We showed that tonight. We stuck with it, we didn't panic, we kept playing our game and turned it back on them in playing offense." -- Avalanche forward J.T. Compher
Video: Dunkin' NHL Comebacks: Avalanche defeat Flames in OT
Need to know
It is the first time the Avalanche have had a 3-1 lead in a playoff series since the 2006 Western Conference Quarterfinals, which they won in five games against the Dallas Stars. … Rantanen (three goals, three assists) and MacKinnon (three goals, two assists) each has a three-game point streak. … The Flames have scored at least one power-play goal in each of the first four games and are 5-of-19 in the series. … The Avalanche are 3-of-20 on the power play. … There have been six overtime games in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including two in this series, each won by Colorado.
Game 5 of Western Conference First Round at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, ALT)