The second game in the series between the Flames and the Avalanche was decided by Nathan MacKinnon at just over 8 minutes into overtime when Colorado evened the series to 1-1 in Calgary on Saturday. Now the series moves back to Avs’ territory for Game 3 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
Flames vs Avalanche Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting Analysis
Despite being currently priced as +195 underdogs, Sports Interaction bettors are putting their money on the Calgary Flames to bounce back from an OT loss at home, and win tonight in Colorado.
For that to happen, the Flames are going to have to put their foot on the gas as soon as the game starts. Perhaps it was a case of overconfidence from their shutout win in game 1, but the Flames looked sluggish in the first period of game 2, and the Avalanche, one of the hottest teams in the league leading up to the postseason, took advantage and took control of the game.
Prior to game 2, the Flames had been 8-0-1 in the past nine home games against the Avalanche. The last Colorado win on Calgary ice was back in December of 2013.
Sam Bennett has been a pleasant postseason surprise as he leads the Flames in points so far in these playoffs with three, in addition to registering eight hits. When interviewed about his team’s game 2 performance he said that the Avalanche “seemed hungrier than us. Seemed like they wanted it more than us and we’re definitely going to learn from that. We can’t sit back. Into Game 3, we’ve got to play with that urgency that they played with and I think we definitely learned a lesson tonight.”
Captain Mark Giordano agreed, saying “we have to be better, we have to be a lot harder to play against and we know that. We had moments tonight but we have to put a full 60 (minutes) together.”
Despite letting in MacKinnon’s OT winning goal, Mike Smith was stellar once again, making 36 saves on Saturday. He’s stopped 62 of 65 shots in the first two games of this series. Rasmus Andersson and Sean Monahan got the two goals for the Flames.
No one thought there would be a repeat of the game 1 shutout, especially Colorado’s top guns, who woke up from their sleepy performances in that first showing in order to put some points on the board for the Avs in game 2. Mikko Rantanen got two points, Gabriel Landeskog got an assist, and of course, Nathan MacKinnon scored that huge game winner. There was no way Colorado was going to be able to manage this series unless those guys started showing up.
As well as the GWG from MacKinnon, the Avalanche got goals from J.T. Compher and Matt Nieto. Goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 35 shots on net. MacKinnon has tons of playoff experience, with 17 points in 15 playoff games, and he knows what it takes to win in the postseason.
“The last 10 games (of the regular season) we had to tie up a lot of hockey games and we also blew some leads, we were in close games all season…it’s been a dogfight,” he said. “We feel good. We feel going back to Pepsi Center that we can hopefully win two games. Saying that, we have to take care of Game 3, but we feel good as a group.”