MacKinnon's OT winner nudges Avalanche past Flames to tie series

Rantanen back for Avs in Game 1 loss to Flames

Despite being the team that barely made it into the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, it felt like the Avalanche were close to having a game stolen from them.

"That's why I take care of myself, so I can play in OT".

Nieto capitalized on faulty stickwork by Calgary defenseman T.J. Brodie and ripped a shot past Mike Smith on a breakaway.

The Calgary Flames look for a big road victory to retake control of this series with a 2-1 lead.

Matthew Tkachuk - The Flames winger always seemed like the type of guy who would thrive in the playoffs, and he lived up to that hype in Game 1 with a highly physical game from start-to-finish on Thursday night.

It took until 14:25 of the second period for the game's first goal, but it was worth the wait as Mangiapane's unassisted goal was a highlight-reel effort.

"Our killers did an unbelievable job to kill off all those penalties and I was able to make a couple big saves there in the second, then we go down the ice and (Mangiapane) scores a big goal for us, so obviously that's a big momentum swing in the game", Smith said.

"I've said it before: Nate's a superstar and that's what superstars do", linemate Gabriel Landeskog said.

The Calgary Flames proved that they can put up goals in Game 1 of the first round against the Avalanche.

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.

Rasmus Andersson and Sean Monahan replied for the Flames. Johnny Gaudreau's initial shot didn't get through to the net, nor did Bennett's shot attempt right after - but Monahan's third try went into the top corner, over the glove of Grubauer.

The Flames admit that the Avs were the better team on Saturday night and though Calgary's goalie Mike Smith had another stunning performance, it wasn't enough.

With chants of "Smitty" raining down at Scotiabank Saddledome, Smith made a number of important stops throughout the game.

The Avalanche could receive another boost before the next game as Cale Makar, a defenseman drafted fourth overall in 2017, is expected to join the squad now that his NCAA season with MA is done.

"We have to be better", Giordano said. "You saw in the regular season that no lead was safe with the way the game is called now and the way the game is played, and you're seeing these wild fluctuations in scores and comebacks and high scores". "Down late or running into a hot goalie, we know we can win games against this team". Game three will take place on Monday night at the Pepsi Center.

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