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Recap: Avalanche burn down the house in third period comeback against the Flames

Several demons were exorcised in this 6-5 win.

Calgary Flames v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Following two disappointing home losses the Colorado Avalanche homestand continued with the now Nikita Zadorov-less Calgary Flames in town. Old friend Nazem Kadri stole the show early but the Avalanche executed a thrilling third period comeback to take the 6-5 victory.

The Game

Once again Colorado gave up the game’s first goal to none other than Nazem Kadri at 13:46 after a Mikko Rantanen turnover in the neutral zone. This followed yet another momentum sucking fruitless power play. Luckily the Avalanche earned a second power play in the first period but it wasn’t looking too great either until a mix of the first and second units were able to finally generate some unstructured chaos.

Shortly thereafter the home team would cash in after some great board work by Ross Colton which resulted in Tomas Tatar’s first goal in burgundy and blue at 18:14. Despite Colorado leading 14-7 in shots on goal the score was tied 1-1 at the conclusion of the first period.

Then in the second period the wheels came off.

The Avalanche actually had a brief lead in the second frame when amazingly Cale Makar converted on the power play. He was given a lot of space in between the faceoff circles so he walked in and picked his spot just over a minute in.

Unfortunately that momentum would not last as Andrew Mangiapane took a great feed from Kadri to bury the Flames’ third goal of the night at 5:14. Shortly after the Avalanche earned their fourth consecutive power play but Calgary scored the go-ahead goal at 13:21 from Blake Coleman as Makar slightly tipped the goal into his own net on rush coverage.

A glimmer of life from an unlikely source happened at 14:57 when Ben Meyers in his first NHL game of the season scored on a feed from Andrew Cogliano but just over a minute later Flames rookie Connor Zary deflected a puck past Alexandar Georgiev to retake the lead.

Desperate to end the period and regroup at intermission, the Avalanche just couldn’t get off the ice fast enough as they gave up yet another goal during 4-on-4 play as the Flames cycled the puck around untouched and Yegor Sharangovich finished off the play at 18:34. Now the Avalanche had a 5-3 hole to dig out of.

Bednar put Ivan Prosvetov in net to start the third period and momentum didn’t start out on Colorado’s side with an early penalty kill. Though it would be successful and the Avalanche made it a game again with Ross Colton getting in on the action with a goal of his own at 11:20 with some hard work down low on a deflection.

That was enough life to wake up the Avalanche top players who had been on the ice for quite a few goals against up to that point. And then it finally happened as a puck bounced off Mikko Rantanen’s stick shaft to end his goal drought at 13:31 but more importantly the game was tied again.

Just two minutes later Nathan MacKinnon put the Avalanche on top once again on a gorgeous play with Rantanen and Val Nichushkin to give MacKinnon a breakaway which he buried. Somehow, someway the Avalanche held on to the 6-5 lead to take this game over the Flames.

Takeaways

After miraculously getting depth contributions it was going to be pretty disappointing to lose this game on a bad game from this team’s best and highest paid players.

However, to their credit the big guns showed up in the final 20 minutes of play and stole the game from the Flames. Hopefully this win gives the team some confidence and momentum to play desperate and engaged the entire game next time. Also, the lesson here is that greasy goals do work and count all the same.

Prosvetov made 11 saves and earned the win with his third period efforts. He had to make several big stops and defended the Flames extra attacker well. The young netminder was clearly thrilled to get the opportunity and was even happier in this postgame interview. Surely we will see him in net again soon.

Upcoming

One more game at home against the visiting Buffalo Sabres at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 13th.