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game recap

Flames hold on to first wild card in West

Calgary defeats Avalanche, moves within point of second place in Pacific Division

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames held on to the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with a 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.

Sean Monahan had a goal and three assists, and Micheal Ferland, Troy Brouwer and Johnny Gaudreau scored for Calgary (43-29-4), which stayed two points ahead of the St. Louis Blues for the first wild card. St. Louis won 4-1 against the Arizona Coyotes on Monday.

"It seems like everybody's winning that we don't really want to win every night," Brouwer said. "A win tonight puts us in a great spot to be able to get into a playoff spot on Wednesday. That's one thing we had really emphasized before this game."


WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Flames highlights


The Flames can clinch a playoff berth with a regulation win against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.

"It's a big game," goaltender Brian Elliott said. "You want to control your destiny and not scoreboard watch. If we can come away with that one, that's a big win for our franchise."

Video: COL@CGY: Monahan nets PPG off defender's skate

Elliott made 24 saves for the Flames, who moved within one point of the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers for second place in the Pacific Division. The Sharks, Oilers and Blues have each played one fewer game than the Flames.

Elliott is 12-1-0 with a 1.89 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in his past 13 games.

"Right now, it's trying to get that 'x' and then we'll go from there," Elliott said. "But on our way up, if we catch a couple teams, that's fine too."

Sven Andrighetto scored twice, and Calvin Pickard made 23 saves for the Avalanche (20-52-3), who have lost six in a row and eight of the past nine games. They are 30th in the NHL with 43 points.

Video: COL@CGY: Elliott gets his paddle on Rantanen's shot

"We've been losing a couple in a row so we want to change that, so we have to push," Andrighetto said. "But we've got to play a full 60 [minutes] and maybe give us a chance then."

Monahan scored 1:30 into the game to give the Flames a 1-0 lead when his shot deflected off Erik Johnson's skate and past Pickard.

Ferland made it 2-0 at 4:33 of the second period. He scored when Gaudreau missed on a wraparound following a turnover by Johnson in the neutral zone. The assist was Gaudreau's 200th NHL career point.

Video: COL@CGY: Ferland buries a rebound past Pickard

Andrighetto cut the lead to 2-1 with a power play goal at 3:06 of the third period, but Brouwer scored 1:52 later to put the Flames up 3-1.

Andrighetto scored again on a slap shot from the point at 18:06 with Pickard on the bench for an extra attacker.

"We were better in the third. It showed that we had more chances in the third," Andrighetto said.

Gaudreau scored an empty-net goal with 3.4 seconds remaining.

Video: COL@CGY: Andrighetto blasts a slapper through traffic

Goal of the game

Johnson's one-timer from the point missed the net, but Andrighetto shot the rebound off the end boards over a sprawling Elliott to score his first of two goals.

Video: COL@CGY: Andrighetto pots rebound off boards for PPG

Save of the game

A touch-pass near center ice by Ferland sprung Monahan on a partial breakaway, but he was stopped by Pickard's shoulder with 5:51 remaining in the second period. "Their goalie played pretty well tonight too, made some big saves," Gaudreau said.


Highlight of the game

Brouwer took a pass from Monahan before shooting over Pickard's shoulder to score Calgary's second of three power-play goals in the game, and his third goal in the past four games. "The puck is finally going in," he said. "I've been working hard to try to get into good scoring areas."

Video: COL@CGY: Brouwer goes bar-down with wrister for PPG

Unsung performance of the game

Flames defenseman Michael Stone had with a game-high four blocked shots in 18:25 of ice time.


They said it

"Definitely excited. We know how close we are. We've done a great job here in the past month and a half to put ourselves in the position we are in today. You can tell the guys are excited about it too. We've still got a little bit more the rest of the season. We have to be strong the last week and a half, two weeks. But we're definitely excited." -- Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau


"We're just trying to talk to them about being loose and playing like we have nothing to lose and making sure that we're creating enough opportunities." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar


Need to know

Monahan has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past five games and 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in his past 12. ... Andrighetto has six points (four goals, two assists) in his past six games. ... Kris Versteeg got his 200th NHL career assist on Brouwer's goal.


What's next

Avalanche: Host the Washington Capitals on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; ALT, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

Flames: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; SN, FS-W, NHL.TV)


Video: Monahan's four points pace Flames in 4-2 home win

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