What many believed to be the Calgary Flames' weakness heading into the postseason turned out to be a strength in Game 1 against the Colorado Avalanche. I'll take a shot with the Avalanche and the slight plus money. "Smitty!" were heard throughout the night from the crowd just like in the series opener.
The game went into overtime, and let me tell you, my heart is having a hard time taking sudden death overtime. Calgary was generating pressure on the power play, but T.J. Brodie couldn't control a bouncing puck at the blue line, and Nieto sped away on a breakaway that he finished with a top-shelf wrist shot.
Then, with a little extra flourish afterwards, Smith threw out his glove to snag Derrick Brassard's risky snap shot.
CALGARY, AB - APRIL 13: Mikko Rantanen #96 of the Colorado Avalanche attempts a wrap-around on the net of Mike Smith #41 of the Calgary Flames in Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 13, 2019 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.More news: Toronto Maple Leafs bounce back big against the Boston Bruins
First, he flashed the leather to snag a backhand off the stick of Gabriel Landeskog, who was left alone in front.
"I haven't quite heard anything like that before in my career, it gives you some confidence when you hear your name getting chanted", Smith said. (Smith) bailed us out too many times to count. The Coyotes lost the next game and Smith hadn't played a playoff game since.
Hathaway also had an indirect hand in the Flames' second goal later in the second as he was hauled down while sending a shot off the crossbar to draw a penalty.
Calgary made it 2-0 at 18:58 of the second when Giordano's point shot was deflected out of the air by Tkachuk.More news: World’s largest plane by wingspan lifts off into the history books
Grubauer finished with 35 saves, and Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said his team could easily be down two games if not for his goaltender's performance.
The veteran netminder, who had been super in Game 1, pitching a 4-0 shutout, was possibly even sharper in Game 2 as he carried his teammates through some seriously soggy patches. Just a little over eight minutes into overtime, Grubauer would make a huge stop on a wide open Michael Frolik, and the Avs would transition the other way.
Tkachuk sealed it 14 seconds later with an empty-netter off an assist from Smith.
"Mikko and I tried to get ahead of their (forward) that was on me", MacKinnon said. "I'm happy it went in", Mangiapane said. He's a big goalie.More news: Ovechkin knocks out Hurricanes rookie Svechnikov in Game 3 fight
Coach Bill Peters agreed the team failed to start on time - a development masked once again by Smith.
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