October 4, 2019 / 4:35 AM / 14 days ago

Rantanen, Donskoi score twice as Avs beat Flames

EditorsNote: Edit 1: Updated stat in second graf.

Oct 3, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (28) celebrates his goal with left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) and left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) and center Sean Monahan (23) in the first period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Mikko Rantanen and Joonas Donskoi had two goals each, J.T. Compher also scored, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Calgary Flames 5-3 in Denver on Thursday night.

Philipp Grubauer had 27 saves for the Avalanche, who again got the best of Calgary. Colorado beat the top-seeded Flames in five games in the first round of the playoffs last spring and continued its mastery over their Western Conference rival in the season opener for both teams.

Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan had a goal and an assist each and Mark Giordano added a shorthanded tally for the Flames. Goaltender David Rittich stopped 27 shots for Calgary.

Rantanen, a restricted free agent this summer, missed training camp and the preseason while his agent and Colorado hammered out a new deal. The final numbers, six years, $55.5 million, were agreed upon Saturday and he flew in from Finland on Sunday to rejoin the team.

Calgary forward Milan Lucic drew a game misconduct late in the second period when he instigated a fight with Nikita Zadorov after the Avalanche defenseman checked Flames center Austin Czarnik into the boards.

Zadorov was hit with a fighting major and a boarding minor.

Compher gave Colorado a 3-2 lead at 12:22 of the second period and Rantanen scored his second of the night just nine seconds into a power play late in the frame.

Giordano made it a one-goal game just 16 seconds later with his first of the season. The Flames pulled Rittich for an extra skater with less than two minutes left in the third and Donskoi sealed it with an empty-net goal at 18:51.

The Avalanche took a 2-1 lead after one period. Donskoi scored the first goal on the power play with a deflection at 5:59, and Monahan tied it at 8:33 moments after Colorado survived a 5-on-3. Rantanen’s goal on a backhand at 16:08 gave the Avalanche the lead.

The Flames tied it on the power play early in the second period when Gaudreau beat Grubauer at 1:50.

—Field Level Media

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