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game recap

Rittich, Giordano help Flames defeat Avalanche

Goalie makes 32 saves, defenseman has three assists for Calgary

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

Rittich's back-to-back saves

COL@CGY: Rittich stuffs Landeskog twice off the draw

David Rittich stones Gabriel Landeskog's tipped shot off a face-off, and covers up his rebound to keep the Flames ahead by two

  • 00:45 •

CALGARY -- Mark Giordano had three assists, and David Rittich made 32 saves to help the Calgary Flames to a 5-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau had his five-game goal streak end but had two assists to extend his point streak to six games (seven goals, eight assists). 

Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, Mark Jankowski, Michael Frolik and Matthew Tkachuk scored for the Flames (28-13-4), who have won three in a row and six of the past eight games (6-1-1).

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Flames highlights]

 

"We scored some timely goals," Giordano said. "Obviously we weren't as sharp as we would like to, but I thought it was a big win and we scored at the right moments."

Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Erik Johnson scored, and Semyon Varlamov made 11 saves for the Avalanche (20-16-8), who have one win in the past nine games (1-6-2) and have allowed five or more goals in three of the past four.

"The effort is there and we're doing a lot of good things out there," Colorado forward Gabriel Landeskog said. "Now we have to find ways to win and I think that's what we're obviously trying to do every single night. It's not like we're not working out there or not trying to win hockey games. It's just not happening for us right now."

Video: COL@CGY: Rantanen sneaks one by Rittich late

Lindholm put Calgary up 3-2 at 12:57 of the second period when he scored his NHL career-high 21st goal on the power play. He has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the past six games.

Giordano's point shot deflected off Frolik to make it 4-2 at 9:14 of the third period. The assist moves Giordano, who is third in NHL scoring among defensemen with 43 points (six goals, 37 assists), ahead of Joe Nieuwendyk for fifth in Flames history with 303.

"He's been unbelievable for us," Frolik said. "He's the leader here, he's the captain. I think he's one of the best I've ever met. I couldn't be happier that I have a chance to play with him. He's been unbelievable, especially this year."

Video: COL@CGY: Frolik nets Giordano's shot off his leg

Rantanen scored short side to cut the lead to 4-3 at 19:22. He has 39 points (13 goals, 26 assists) in his past 25 games.

Tkachuk scored into an empty net with 10 seconds remaining for the 5-3 final.

"It's tough," Rantanen said. "When you're winning everything is fun and it's fun to come to the rink and work and stuff. A losing streak, or not winning, it's obviously tougher. There's a lot of good players in this room and everybody knows it. We just have to find a way to turn it around."

Backlund scored on James Neal's rebound 5:34 into the first period to put the Flames up 1-0, and Jankowski's shot from the slot extended the lead to 2-0 at 10:29.

Video: COL@CGY: Backlund buries rebound for opening goal

MacKinnon finished a three-way passing play with Rantanen and Landeskog to make it 2-1 at 16:32. The three have combined on the same goal 21 times this season.

Johnson tied it 2-2 at 19:41.

Video: COL@CGY: Landeskog sets up MacKinnon for one-timer

 

They said it

"This game was really quick, both sides, doesn't matter who was on the ice. I like it more than the slower one. But it's always hard. You've got to be quicker than normal then and they've got a couple guys who can come with speed and good shots." -- Flames goalie David Rittich

 

"I checked the board in the middle of the third and they had 14 shots on goal. I don't think we gave up a lot of shots. Their power play was better than us. We had four chances and we couldn't capitalize. They did. They scored [one] on the power play. That makes the difference tonight." -- Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen

 

Need to know

Calgary reached the 60-point mark in its 45th game, the second-fastest season to 60 points in its history (41 games in 1988-89). … Flames forward Sean Monahan had his five-game point streak end. … Forward Matthew Tkachuk is the fourth Flames player to score 20 goals this season, the second time in Calgary history four players have scored that many through 45 games. Mike Bullard (27), Hakan Loob (25), Joe Nieuwendyk (32) and Joe Mullen (20) did it in 1987-88. … The Flames have scored at least four goals in five of the past six. … MacKinnon has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in an eight-game point streak, and 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in the past 16 games. … Landeskog has 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) in his past 18 games.

 

What's next

Avalanche: At the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, ALT, NHL.TV)

Flames: Host the Florida Panthers on Friday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-F, NHL.TV) 

Video: Giordano, Flames post 5-3 win against Avalanche

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