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game recap

Avalanche defeat Flames in overtime in Game 2, even series

MacKinnon scores at 8:27 after Compher ties it late in third

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

MacKinnon nets game-winner in OT

COL@CGY, Gm2: MacKinnon wins it after Grubauer save

R1, Gm2: Nathan MacKinnon rips home the winning goal in overtime for the Avalanche seconds after Philipp Grubauer stops a point-blank shot

  • 01:05 •

CALGARY -- Nathan MacKinnon scored 8:27 into overtime to give the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 win against the Calgary Flames in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

MacKinnon scored on Mike Smith from the left face-off circle seconds after Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer made a save against Michael Frolik.

"The last 10 games (of the regular season) we had to tie up a lot of hockey games and we also blew some leads, we were in close games all season ... it's been a dogfight," MacKinnon said. "We feel good. We feel going back to Pepsi Center that we can hopefully win two games. Saying that, we have to take care of Game 3, but we feel good as a group."


[WATCH: Avalanche vs. Flames Game 2 highlightsComplete series coverage]


The best-of-7 series is tied, with Game 3 at Colorado on Monday.

"A tough way to lose, but there's these moments all the time in playoffs and you've got to deal with them and move on," Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano said.

J.T. Compher and Matt Nieto scored, and Grubauer made 35 saves for the Avalanche.

"We've always had the confidence in this room and tonight shows it," Compher said. "Down late or running into a hot goalie, we know we can win games against this team. We're thrilled to be going back 1-1 and get back in front of that Pepsi Center crowd and try to get a lead in the series."

Video: COL@CGY, Gm2: Compher buries tying goal late in 3rd

Sean Monahan and Rasmus Andersson scored, and Smith made 36 saves for the Flames.

"We have to be better," Giordano said. "We have to be a lot harder to play against and we know that. We had moments tonight but we have to put a full 60 (minutes) together."

Compher tied it 2-2 with 2:39 remaining in the third period on a scramble in the crease with Grubauer on the bench for an extra attacker.

"It wasn't a drawn-up play at all," MacKinnon said. "[Compher] got kicked out and I came in and I wanted [Compher], and then I switched with [Gabriel Landeskog]. We were planning on switching. They got lost. We didn't plan that at all. We were joking that's how we drew it up but that wasn't at all how we drew it up. The play was to give me a one-timer, but we'll take it."

Monahan had given Calgary a 2-1 lead when he chipped a loose puck in the slot over Grubauer's glove at 12:27 of the third.

Video: COL@CGY, Gm2: Monahan swats in go-ahead goal

Nieto shot over Smith's glove on a shorthanded breakaway for Colorado's first goal of the series and a 1-0 lead at 7:16 of the second period. It was his first goal in 40 games.

Smith, who shut out Colorado 4-0 in Game 1, made 44 straight saves to start the series, including Landeskog's breakaway deke 12:31 into the first period, a left pad stop on MacKinnon's shot from the slot on the power play at 14:45 of the first, and a glove save on Matt Calvert's shorthanded attempt 1:06 prior to Nieto's goal.

"Smith has had two really good games and he's a good goaltender, but we as a group felt it was just a matter of time before we'd break through," Landeskog said.

Andersson tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal at 12:26 of the second when he one-timed a no-look, backhand, backdoor pass from Sam Bennett.

Video: COL@CGY, Gm2: Nieto beats Smith top shelf for SHG


They said it

"That's a split. That's the least we came here for. We would've liked to win both games, but a 1-1 split, we'll take that. Now it's a matter of us coming home and repeating this effort. We're not going to sit back. It's right back to preparing for Monday." -- Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog

"They seemed hungrier than us. Seemed like they wanted it more than us and we're definitely going to learn from that. We can't sit back. Into Game 3, we've got to play with that urgency that they played with and I think we definitely learned a lesson tonight." -- Flames forward Sam Bennett


Need to know

MacKinnon's goal is the second playoff overtime winner in his NHL career. He also scored in Game 5 of the 2014 Western Conference First Round against the Minnesota Wild. … Calgary had been 8-0-1 in the past nine home games against Colorado, including playoffs. The last Colorado win in Calgary in the regular season was Dec. 6, 2013. … The Avalanche is 7-10 all-time in playoff series when splitting the first two games of a best-of-seven series, and 6-7 since moving to Denver. … The Avalanche is 38-29 all-time in playoff overtime, including 28-20 since moving to Denver. … Calgary is 18-27 in playoff overtime, and 7-15 at home.


What's next

Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round at Pepsi Center on Monday (10 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, TVAS2, ALT)

Video: MacKinnon scores in OT, Avalanche even series

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