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Flames taking it one game at a time in series against Avalanche

Have lost three straight entering Game 5 at home

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames are aware they need three straight wins to advance beyond the Western Conference First Round against the Colorado Avalanche.

Their focus, though, is on getting one, in Game 5 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, ALT).

"We're a good team, a lot of good character in our locker room," said Johnny Gaudreau, who has one assist in four games in the series after he had 99 points (36 goals, 63 assists) in the regular season. "We have a really good group in our locker room. A lot of games this year we've come from behind with not a lot of hope in some games and found a way to push on and win. I like our team, and we worry about one game at a time here, play well tomorrow night, and go from there."


[RELATED: Complete Flames vs. Avalanche series coverage]


Colorado has won three games in a row to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series, including two in overtime after trailing in the third period.

The Avalanche rallied from down 2-0 midway through the third before Mikko Rantanen scored 10:23 into overtime to give them a 3-2 win in Game 4 on Wednesday. They were down 2-1 late in the third before Nathan MacKinnon scored 8:27 into overtime to give Colorado a 3-2 win in Game 2.

"You're human to be a little frustrated," Matthew Tkachuk said. "Two of the last three games we went into overtime and had a chance to win both of them, but there's nothing you can do about it now. Now all you can control is the way you prepare for tomorrow's game, and tomorrow, the only thing you can control is how you go out there and perform. We're still alive. Still believe in ourselves. We've won three games in a row a lot of times this year. I believe in this group."

Video: Bruins, Stars, even the series, Rantanen's OT winner

History isn't on Calgary's side.

Teams with a 3-1 lead in a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series have a series record of 276-28 (.907).

The Flames have been behind 3-1 eight times and have never come back to win.

"You come in and your mindset is your back is against the wall," Tkachuk said. "You have to do everything in your power to win this game. There's no saving it anymore. There's no saving it for next game because you don't know if there is going to be a next game. You have to do everything you can to make sure you get your best effort, and your ability to perform has to be at its highest."

The Avalanche's most recent 3-1 lead came in the 2006 Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Dallas Stars. They won the series in five games.

Colorado has twice blown a 3-1 lead, in the 1998 Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Edmonton Oilers and the 2003 Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Minnesota Wild.

Calgary is hoping to make it three.


"You can't look to Game 7," Gaudreau said. "You have to look to Game 5 here, and play hard, try to come out with a win here, and then worry about the next game. You can't look ahead that far.

"You don't want to be in this position, but we've got a big game tomorrow playing in front of our home fans. Hopefully, we can come out of here with a big win and go back to Colorado 3-2." 


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