The Calgary Flames, led by New Jersey native Johnny Gaudreau, host the Colorado Avalanche, led by center Nathan MacKinnon, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in game two of their 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs first round series on Saturday, April 13, 2019 (4/13/19) at 10:30 p.m. EDT.
What did we learn from this one? The team that deserves to win doesn't always win.
After being stonewalled by Smith Thursday in a 4-0 loss peppered with endless chants of "Smitty, Smitty", the Avalanche responded with a dominating performance which had the Flames on their heels early and often. The Avs were in serious danger of falling down 2-0, but J.T. Compher scored inside the final three minutes of regulation to send the game to overtime. The shot would be MacKinnon's 12th attempted shot of the night. With the win, the Avs have now taken over home ice advantage.
"We're not hitting the panic button or anything".
"We have to be better", Giordano said.
Colorado tied it at 2 at 17:21 of the third period on Compher's first career playoff goal, the result of some fortuitous bouncing of the puck. The under is 8-2 in Flames last 10 road games.
NOTES: Grubauer made 28 stops for Colorado. And in the Flames' opening two games against the Colorado Avalanche, he's slapped their faces.
"I've said it before: Nate's a superstar and that's what superstars do", linemate Gabriel Landeskog said. "Down late or running into a hot goalie, we know we can win games against this team". We have a lot of offensive weapons in this room and we believed it was just a matter of time before we broke through.
"It's just instinct", MacKinnon said of his shot selection. Smith, who appeared in his first playoff game in seven years, registered a 26 save shutout and a handful of highlight reel saves.
After dominating the majority of the play in regulation, the Avalanche almost lost the game late in the third period when Sean Monahan got loose in front to beat Philipp Grubauer after a few blocked shots. (Smith) bailed us out too many times to count.
"Great to see the fans really get behind him", Flames captain Mark Giordano said.
"We're going to learn our lesson and play Game 3 with a lot more urgency". It was the first playoff game as a head coach for Bill Peters, who failed to make the postseason in his four seasons with Carolina.
"Both games he kept us in it - to have the confidence of a goalie like that we definitely can't let that go to waste", said Bennett. Maybe those stakes explain why they're so focused right now, but either way, it seems like Colorado could make this an interesting Round 1 series.