Rantanenâs OT one-timer puts Avs on brink of dousing Flames
Mikko Rantanen's second goal of the game was the overtime winner as the host Colorado Avalanche erased a two-goal deficit and beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 Wednesday night in Denver to put the Western Conference's No. 1 seed on the brink of elimination in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Avalanche lead the best-of-seven series 3-1. Game 5 will be Friday in Calgary.
Shortly after the Flames failed to convert on a power play, the Avalanche raced up the ice and Carl Soderberg fed Rantanen a cross-ice pass that he one-timed for the winner.
Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer made 35 saves, while Calgary netminder Mike Smith stopped 49 shots in another brilliant performance that went for naught.
From the drop of the puck, the pace of play was frenetic in what became the most entertaining game of the series. After a scoreless first period, Calgary's Elias Lindholm broke the deadlock with a power-play goal 3:25 into the second.
Lindholm won the faceoff in the visiting zone, and, after he played catch with Mark Giordano, fired a long shot from the top of the circle that nicked off Grubauer's shoulder and rolled into the net.
The speed continued and chances were traded at both ends before Derek Ryan doubled the Calgary lead at 6:58 of the third period. Juuso Valimaki -- the rookie defenseman who made his playoff debut -- sent a long shot that Grubauer stopped, but Ryan pounced on the rebound.
Speaking of rebound goals, though, J.T. Compher started the Colorado comeback when he put the hosts on the board 72 seconds later thanks to his ability to bury a second chance.
Smith made a couple of saves, including one on Matt Calvert, but the puck went to Compher in the slot and he made no mistake.
Then Rantanen tied the game with a power-play goal with 2:50 remaining in regulation. With Calgary's Mikael Backlund in the penalty box, Rantanen set up shop at the doorstep and redirected Nathan MacKinnon's shot into the top corner.
--Field Level Media
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