CALGARY - Johnny Gaudreau's first goal of the pre-season stood up as the game winner as the Calgary Flames blanked the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 on Tuesday.
On a night in which not a lot was happening, Gaudreau ? who stands 5-foot-9, 160 pounds ? provided the spark the game desperately needed at 9:05 of the second period on a great individual effort.
Bursting into the Colorado end one-on-one against Avalanche defenceman Nate Guenin, the 2014 Hobey Baker Award winner went outside in, then inside out on the blue liner before wristing a perfect shot into the top corner over the glove of Reto Berra.
Gaudreau's bid to make the Flames season-opening roster is one of the most interesting training camp stories in Calgary. Depending on the injury situation, there are only one or two openings at forward and the speedy and talented left-winger is competing against several players including Michael Ferland and Sven Baertschi.
While Gaudreau was without a point in his first three pre-season games, he was second on the team with 13 shots on goal.
Jonas Hiller was perfect in net for the Flames, stopping all 28 shots he faced.
His finest stop came with five minutes to play in the third when he first stopped Andrew Agozzino, then stuck out his pad to deny Michael Schumacher on the rebound.
Signed as a free agent in the summer to a two-year $9-million contract, Hiller is battling with Karri Ramo for the starting job after spending the last seven seasons with the Anaheim Ducks.
In three pre-season appearances, Hiller is 2-1-0 with a 0.86 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage.
Former Flame Berra went the distance for Colorado. The back-up to Semyon Varlamov finished with 22 stops.
Lance Bouma, into an empty net, also scored for Calgary (4-3-0).
Colorado (0-5-1) remains winless in the pre-season, one of two teams without a victory. The Florida Panthers are the other.
The Flames were led by veterans Mark Giordano, Curtis Glencross and Jiri Hudler. Meanwhile, the Avs were without Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, former-Flame Jarome Iginla, Gabriel Landeskog.
Notes: Notable on the Flames injury front. Mikael Backlund (abdominal strain) is skating but has not yet returned to full practice. Sam Bennett is said to be nursing a minor injury but he practised Tuesday and is expected to play Thursday night... Flames final two pre-season games will be a home-and-home with the Winnipeg Jets - Thursday in Calgary and Saturday in Winnipeg... The Avs also will wrap up their pre-season schedule with a home-and-home on the same nights against the Los Angeles Kings.