October 14, 2018 / 5:21 AM / 7 months ago

Gaudreau sends Flames past Avs in OT

Johnny Gaudreau scored on a breakaway 46 seconds into overtime as the Calgary Flames rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Saturday night at Denver.

A wide-open Gaudreau took an outlet pass from Sean Monahan along the left boards at center ice and then went and beat Semyon Varlamov with a backhand shot for his second goal of the season.

Elias Lindholm, who tied it with a goal with 1:54 left in regulation, and Sam Bennett also scored for Calgary. David Rittich finished with 24 saves for the Flames.

Nathan MacKinnon and J.T. Compher scored goals for Colorado, which lost at Pepsi Center for just the fifth time in its last 26 games (20-5-1) dating back to last season. Varlamov had 38 saves in suffering his first loss in four starts for the Avalanche.

MacKinnon needed just 11 seconds to give Colorado a 1-0 lead, knocking in a rebound of a Mikko Rantanen shot into the left corner of the net. It was the fastest goal to start a game for an Avalanche player since Antti Laaksonen set the franchise record by scoring in eight seconds at Columbus on Feb. 10, 2006.

Colorado made it 2-0 at the 2:40 mark when a bouncing puck went over the stick of defenseman T.J. Brodie near the top of the slot. Compher picked it up and quickly chipped a shot over Rittich’s glove and into the top right corner of the net.

Calgary cut it to 2-1 midway through the second period on Bennett’s first goal of the season when he buried a rebound of a Mikael Backlund shot that caromed straight to Bennett in the slot, where he fired a wrist shot past Varlamov’s blocker side.

Lindholm then tied it after the Flames pulled Rittich. He stole the puck from Matt Nieto along the left boards and then came in and fired a shot between Varlamov’s pads, setting the stage for Gaudreau’s game-winner in overtime.

MacKinnon has scored six goals in the first five games for the Avs and became just the second player in franchise history to score a goal in the first five games of the season, joining Mats Sundin, who did it in the 1992-93 season with the Quebec Nordiques.

—Field Level Media

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