February 25, 2018 / 12:05 AM / in a year

Balanced attack leads Flames past Avalanche

Michael Frolik set the tone with a goal just 18 seconds into the game, and the Calgary Flames helped their playoff chances with a 5-1 victory over the visiting Colorado Avalanche at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Saturday.

Mark Giordano, Sean Monahan, Troy Brouwer and Mikael Backlund also scored for the Flames. Jon Gillies started for the second straight game for Calgary and finished with 28 saves.

Fellow goalie Mike Smith was placed on injured reserve Saturday with a lower-back injury after missing the last six games.

Nathan MacKinnon scored his 26th goal of the season for Colorado, which has dropped four of its last five matchups.

The loss put another damper on the Avalanche’s chances in the Western Conference playoff race. Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov finished with 24 saves. The Russian could play a key role for the Avalanche with Jonathan Bernier out indefinitely with a head injury.

The Flames beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 on Thursday on the road and carried that momentum into the matchup with the Avalanche. Calgary continued to capitalize on its opportunities and were 2-of-3 on the power play.

The Flames took control with Frolik’s early goal. It was the first time Calgary scored the opening goal in the last nine games. The Flames increased the margin to 2-0 when Giordano scored with 12:36 left in the first period.

Colorado pulled to within 2-1 on a goal by MacKinnon from center ice with 3:36 remaining. However, the Flames capitalized on a power play with a goal by Monahan that increased the margin to 3-1 with 9:10 left in the second period. It was a Monahan’s team-leading 29th goal of the season.

Brouwer’s goal just 2:39 into the final period gave the Flames a three-goal cushion, and Colorado never threatened the rest of the way. Backlund put the game away with a goal with 5:14 remaining.

Prior to the game, the Flames recalled forwards Tanner Glass and Andrew Mangiapane from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat. Glass was a scratch, but Mangiapane played 13 minutes.

—Field Level Media

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