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Calgary Flames (6) vs Colorado Avalanche (5): Flames Score 5 In 3rd, Barely Hang On For Win

Mike Smith was bad, but Semyon Varlamov was worse when it mattered.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames 6 Colorado Avalanche 5

Scoring

Team 1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Total
Team 1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Total
Calgary Flames 0 1 5 6
Colorado Avalanche 0 4 1 5

Complete Stats

Recap

Where do you even begin with this game? To quote one of our writers Les from a chat thread during the Flame comeback “this is absurd.” Absurd, seems like the right way to describe this Thursday night game between the Flames and Avalanche. Calgary survived some terrible goaltending from Mike Smith and scored 5 (5, who does that?) 3rd period goals to bury the Avalanche 6-5.

The Flames applied the pressure early in this game firing 13 first period shots on Semyon Varlamov, but Calgary came up empty. That’s pretty much all the excitement there would be for the first 20 minutes.

The second period is where it all started circling the drain for Calgary as Mike Smith apparently forgot how to stop pucks. And it wasn’t like Colorado peppered him with shots either. The 12 year NHL veteran faced 10 shots in the period and 4 of them found the back of the net. 4 goals, 10 shots. Yes, that’s the correct stat. The Flames were able to get one back in the period as Mikael Backlund deposited his second goal of the season to cut the Avs lead to 4-1.

The third period was owned by Calgary, but the Avalanche would find a way to make it interesting at the very end. Calgary would explode for 5 unanswered goals, giving them a 6-4 lead before Gabriel Landeskog would score his 11th goal of the season to cut the Flames surprising and fragile lead to 6-5. Mike Smith would make 5 saves at the end to keep the Flames lead and somehow, as improbable as it seems, the Flames walked into their home locker room with a 6-5 victory.

Scoring

Calgary Flames

1st: None

2nd: 6:34- Backlund (2) (Tkachuk/Giordano)

3rd: 0:47- Lindholm (9) (Giordano/Monahan), 5:21- Monahan (6) (Hanifin/Ryan), 10:52: Neal (3) (Gaudreau/Valimaki), 13:47- Giordano (2) (Backlund/Tkachuk), 14:54- Frolik (6) (Tkachuk/Brodie)

Colorado Avalanche

1st: None

2nd: 3:22- Kamanev (1) (unassisted), 5:12- Dries (1) (Barrie/Kerfoot), 11:04- Wilson (4) (Dries/Cole), 16:41- Soderberg (5) (Bourque)

3rd: 18:57- Landeskog (11) (Wilson/Kerfoot)

Final Thoughts

Flames fans can be thankful that Varlamov was as bad in the 3rd period as Smith was in the second. The Avalanche got caught either playing complacent or thinking they had this one in the bag and when the Flames pounced there was barely any fight from Colorado. The Avs netminder was victimized 5 times on 11 shots and looked absolutely bewildered each time the lamp glowed red.

Credit the Flames for not giving up and pushing the pace of the game in the final 20 minutes. The fact that they were able to crawl and fight their way back into this game is a credit to their can do and never say die attitude. However, Mike Smith owes the 18 guys playing in front of him something. Smith looked rattled all night, giving up 5 goals on 26 shots and never looked comfortable.

This was a truly entertaining game to watch, but the Flames need to really asses what is going on in goal from here on out. There aren’t going to be a lot of nights where you’re going to score 5 third goals or give up 4 goals on 10 shots in a period and come away with a win.

Flame Of The Game

NHL: Nashville Predators at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Juuso Valimaki (D). Valimaki collected an assist on James Neal’s 3rd period goal, but it was his bone crushing hit that set the Neal up for the score. Valimaki set the tone for the remainder of the contest with his massive body check and despite the odds going into the 3rd, the Flames came out victorious.

What’s Next?

11/3: Calgary Flames vs Chicago Blackhawks, 8 PM MT