Colorado Avalanche made a huge upset in Calgary last night and defeated the Flames, tying the result in the series to 1-1. Following a true playoff contest, which saw high intensity and excitement, the guests from Denver won 3-2 after overtime.
After Columbus’ two wins against Tampa Bay, this is by far the biggest surprise in the playoffs up until this point.
This is only the second win for the Avalanche in the last 12 contests against this rival. That was probably why Colorado seemed more motivated than Flames, who lost composure and ran out of juice in the moments when they needed to step up.
“They seemed hungrier than us. Seemed like they wanted it more than us and we’re definitely going to learn from that,” said Flames forward Sam Bennet after the game.
Now, what Avalanche wanted is at least one win in Canada, a break, which will boost their chances for a big surprise before heading back to Pepsi Center. Guests’ captain Gabriel Landeskog mentioned that when addressing to the media after the match, stating that his team needs to show the same energy at home and to start preparing for Game 3 as soon as they land in Colorado.
“That’s a split. That’s the least we came here for. We would’ve liked to win both games, but a 1-1 split, we’ll take that,” Landeskog stated. “Now it’s a matter of us coming home and repeating this effort. We’re not going to sit back. It’s right back to preparing for Monday.”
A victory at Scotiabank Saddledome is a unique chance for the Avalanche to prove wrong all the experts who were stating before the series began that they don’t have bright prospects against the No.1 team of the Western Conference.
That win came after a huge battle, which lasted 80 minutes. In the first 20, except for five minor penalties, and good goaltenders, the spectators, haven’t seen much. Mike Smith had 15 saves, but eventually, he had to take the puck out of his net in the next sequence. And that happened in the moments when nobody expected.
Matt Nieto managed to score a shorthanded goal after a quick breakaway. Rasmus Andersson tied on a power play, some five minutes later, and the things changed completely with 7:33 to go until the end. Sean Monahan
reacted the best and tipped in the puck before Denver’s goalie Grubauer could respond.
Coach Craig Berube didn’t want to lose this one, and he made a logical move. Grubauer went out and in came an extra attacker.
That paid off with J.T. Compher’s goal 2:39 before the buzzer.
A huge upset was sealed in the overtime, by Nathan MacKinnon. Prior to that, Grubauer saved his team stopping a huge chance for the Flames.
MacKinnon spoke about the fact that his team had a ton of games similar to this one during the whole season, and that Avalanche survived all kinds of situations.
His teammate and captain Landeskog stated that MacKinnon, who had 99 points during the regular part of the season, is a “superstar” who steps up in situations like this.
“I mean there is nothing like a Stanley Cup-overtime goal,” Landeskog said of MacKinnon’s strike. “I have said it before, but Nate is a superstar and that is what superstars do.”
He also praised Grubauer’s save before that.
The series now moves on to Colorado. Game 3 is set for Monday at 10 pm ET. Flames won the first clash in the regular part of the season, played back in October after Johnny Gaudreau’s early goal in the overtime.
The recent tradition is against the Avalanche, but the current momentum is apparently on their side. An exciting finish, in which they equalized with an empty net, an overtime goal, all that might give them the swing which will be lethal for the big favorites from Calgary.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write, read, and bet on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a betting tips writer at WagerBop.