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game recap

Gaudreau, Flames rally past Avalanche in overtime

Scores at 46 seconds after Calgary ties it late in third period

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Johnny Gaudreau scored on a breakaway 46 seconds into overtime to give the Calgary Flames a 3-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

 

[WATCH: All Flames vs. Avalanche highlights]

 

Gaudreau skated into the Avalanche end, cut to his right with defenseman Samuel Girard in pursuit, and scored his second goal of the season and 99th of his NHL career.

"Kind of a clear breakaway there, kind of faked the shot, tried to bring [goalie Semyon Varlamov] all the way across and found his 5-hole there," Gaudreau said.

Video: CGY@COL: Gaudreau tucks in game-winning goal in OT

Trailing 2-0 after the first period, the Flames tied the game 2-2 on a goal by Elias Lindholm with 1:54 left in the third period. Lindholm scored his fourth goal with a shot from the left circle shortly after Calgary goalie David Rittich went to the bench for an extra skater. 

Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon matched the franchise record for the longest season-opening goal streak, five games, when he scored 11 seconds into the first period for a 1-0 lead. The record was set in 1992-93 by Mats Sundin of the Quebec Nordiques.

MacKinnon drove to the net to put in the rebound of Mikko Rantanen's backhand shot. Rantanen has at least one assist in each of the first five games, and has seven this season.

Sam Bennett also scored for the Flames (3-2-0), who went 2-1-0 on a three-game road trip. Rittich made 24 saves.

"We knew we had to be better," Gaudreau said of the Flames' poor start. "We came in here after the first, talked about it, said there's lots of time left, and we showed what we're capable of."

The Flames outshot the Avalanche 31-9 after the first period, 41-26 for the game.

"You can't just dominate the first period and then the rest of the game … you have to play all 60 minutes," Varlamov said. "In these kind of games, we should be happy, probably, with the one point because of the way we played."

Video: CGY@COL: Lindholm ties it late off a turnover

J.T. Compher scored for the Avalanche (3-1-1), and Varlamov made 38 saves.

The Avalanche took a 2-0 lead on Compher's goal at 2:40 of the first. Tyson Barrie's long pass into the Flames end bounced over Calgary defenseman TJ Brodie's stick, and Compher skated around him and beat Rittich glove side for his third goal.

Flames coach Bill Peters used his time out after the goal, but the Flames didn't respond until the second period; they dominated the rest of the way.

"I guess we were surprised," MacKinnon said. "We should have expected more of a response. It's pretty rare that teams call a timeout quick, so obviously they're not happy. I'm sure Bill Peters wasn't happy. He got them fired up for the second and they outdid us for the rest of the game."

The Flames made it 2-1 at 10:52 of the second on Bennett's goal. Mikael Backlund carried into the Avalanche end and took a shot that Varlamov deflected into the slot. Bennett went to the net to convert the rebound for his first goal.

"We had a great start to the game where we come out with a purpose," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "We're driving pucks, putting pucks on net, hunting down rebounds, we're in and out of our zone, doing everything right.

"Then it looked to me we thought it was going to be easy. We got away from our game, we were standing around. Every play has to be a fancy play, we won't skate, no intent to get any pucks to the net. We made it easy on their goaltender. You can't check with your eyes."

Video: CGY@COL: Bennett drives to the net, buries rebound

 

They said it

"It showed us how we have to play to be successful. If you want to stand around and watch, we're going to get beat up pretty bad. But when we move our feet and get pucks in, I thought we looked like the faster team in the second half of that game." -- Flames defenseman Mark Giordano

 

"Our start, our first period, and our goaltender got us a point. We should be happy as can be getting a point out of that." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

 

Need to know

MacKinnon's goal was the fastest to start a game for the Avalanche since Antti Laaksonen scored at 8 seconds against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb. 10, 2006 … Colorado has killed 22 of 23 penalties this season … Lindholm has six points (four goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak.

 

What's next

Flames: Host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360)

Avalanche: At the New York Rangers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, ALT, NHL.TV) 

 

Video: Gaudreau's breakaway goal lifts Flames in OT, 3-2

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