April 20, 2019 / 5:06 AM / a month ago

Avs eliminate top-seeded Flames in Game 5

EditorsNote: Fixes total points to 21 in 10th graf, updates with quote, minor edits

Apr 19, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) skates during warm ups piror to the game against the Colorado Avalanche in game five of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Colin Wilson and Mikko Rantanen each collected two goals and one assist as the Colorado Avalanche extinguished the Calgary Flames with a 5-1 road victory Friday night to win their first-round playoff series in five games.

The Avalanche, who made the Western Conference playoffs as the final wild-card team, will face either the San Jose Sharks or Vegas Golden Knights in the second round after knocking out the West’s regular-season champions.

Goalie Philipp Grubauer made 28 saves for the Avalanche, who won a playoff series for the first time since 2008.

Even though the Flames were the more desperate team, the Avalanche held the hosts without a shot for more than seven minutes and opened the scoring when Gabriel Landeskog deflected Tyson Barrie’s point shot at 9:40 of the first period.

From there, the Flames just couldn’t make the most of their chances, and they seemingly paid for it immediately after each time.

After Johnny Gaudreau first failed to convert on a penalty shot and missed on a breakaway, Rantanen doubled the lead with 4:22 remaining in the first period when he banked a sharp-angled shot off goalie Mike Smith.

The Flames received a jolt of life when TJ Brodie scored with 5.5 seconds left in the opening frame and carried much of the play in the first few minutes of the second period, but Wilson snuffed the comeback.

First, Wilson benefited from a neutral-zone turnover for a goal at 6:52 of the second period, and he then redirected Nathan MacKinnon’s shot-pass for a power-play goal with 5:13 remaining in the middle frame.

Rantanen rounded out the scoring with a power-play goal 57 seconds into the third period.

“The three of us tried to do our best, but it was a team effort,” MacKinnon told the CBC broadcast afterward, talking about his line with Rantanen and Landeskog, which combined for 21 points. “I think hockey’s the ultimate team game.”

MacKinnon and Barrie both collected three assists for the Avalanche.

Smith made 27 saves for the Flames, whose ousting combined with the Tampa Bay Lightning being swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets marked the first time in NHL history the two conference champs were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

—Field Level Media

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