Heading into this contest the Colorado Avalanche continued to limp along on their road trip nursing several injuries and in search of a win to build on their victory in Vancouver. They received good news in the morning that both Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz would be able to dress in this contest with the former taking the net.
The Avalanche were looking to push their winning streak against the Flames to five going back to last season’s playoffs when the Avalanche closed out the first round series with three straight wins and then won their season opening matchup as well. And that they did holding off a late game surge to take the game in Calgary 3-2.
Just 3:21 into the game Andre Burakovsky opened the scoring for the visitors when he took a great feed from Nathan MacKinnon and deposited the puck in the net with his great shot. The play was started on a slick breakout pass from Cale Makar who collected his 23rd point on the season in doing so.
Burakovsky’s second goal of the period would come just before the period end at 18:25 as he takes the puck from MacKinnon on a face off win and just wires a laser past goaltender David Rittich.
Vladislav Kamenev added an insurance marker which would coincidentally become the game winner at 13:15 on a tap in set up by JT Compher and Val Nichuskin.
The Flames looked lifeless through much of this game but they finally made a push in the third period when Andrew Mangiapane brought the Flames within one with less than five minutes to go. Ian Cole took a high sticking penalty when the Flames had the extra attacker on the ice but with only 20 seconds to go the Avalanche were able to hold on.
This was a good team win with Burakovsky and Kamenev chipping in the goals. Burakovsky replaced the injured Matt Calvert on the top line and immediately paid dividends. Kamenev was left to center the fourth line of AHL call-ups but made magic happen on a shift with Nichushkin and Compher. Kamenev still ended the game with one of the lowest time on ice and didn’t even break ten minutes. Hopefully the goal brings him some more opportunity.
Special teams was not a factor in this game as the Avalanche killed off two penalties and gave their beleaguered a small victory. The Avalanche did not convert on their two power plays either but it wasn’t needed in this game at least.
Grubauer looked good in his return to the net making 31 saves on 33 shots. Both goals against were breakdowns which led to lucky shots as Grubauer stood tall and was a brick wall on the other opportunities particularly late in the game.
The final game of the road trip kicks off against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, November 21 at 6pm MT.