The student publication of Arapahoe Community College in Colorado

The Arapahoe Pinnacle

The student publication of Arapahoe Community College in Colorado

The Arapahoe Pinnacle

The student publication of Arapahoe Community College in Colorado

The Arapahoe Pinnacle

Calgary Flames at Colorado Avalanche 12/11/23

Calgary+Flames+at+Colorado+Avalanche+12%2F11%2F23
Image via Patrick Kaplan

Pregame

The Calgary Flames (11-13-3) came into Colorado tonight searching for their second win of the month, and the first against the Avalanche this season. On the other side of the ice, the Avalanche (16-9-2) are trying to get out of a losing funk after dropping back to back games, and five out of their last six. These two teams know each other very well, and both need two points to try and thrust themselves into a better playoff spot. The Flames are three points out of the second wild card spot, while the Avs are tied for the division lead with the Winnipeg Jets. 

 

The familiar face of Nazem Kadri made his way back to Colorado for the third time since his departure in free agency. Kadri was a big piece in the Avs’ cup run back in 2022. He came into tonight’s game with six goals, 12 assists*, and 18 points*. For the Avalanche, they come into tonight’s game down a few men. If they want to be competitive for those two points tonight, they need Mikko Rantanen to get back in the goal column. The team leader in goals (12), hasn’t reached the back of the net since November 22. It’s been nine games which is unusual for Rantanen. 

*Team Leading

 

Tonight’s starting goaltenders are Dan Vlader for Calgary, and Alexander Georgiev for Colorado. Vladar was in net for their first matchup this season where he gave up three goals on 24 shots. Vlader is coming off of the bench to replace teammate Wolf. That game was on the 5th, and he hasn’t played since. His record sits at 4-3-1 with a save percentage of .877. His opposing goaltender is the Avs starter Alexander Georgiev. Georgiev sat out the last matchup with Calgary, but got two wins with only two goals against last year against them. Georgiev is coming off of a rest day after losing three out of his last four, so he is looking for a bounce back game as well. His record this season is 14-7-1 while leading the NHL in wins. 

 

Postgame

 

The Avavalnch pulled off an improbable comeback against the Calgary Flames and won 6-5 tonight at Ball Arena. Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon had the game winning goal, his 57th in his career, with 4:30 left in the game. That wasn’t the only goal that MacKinnon would be a part of as he finished the game with an assist on Cale Makar’s goal in the second period. MacKinnon would also skate away with the first star of the game. 

The beginning of the game started off hot with an early penalty being taken by Calgary after there was a scuffle in the corner leading to a roughing penalty. However, the Avalanche did not capitalize on that power play, which is becoming more of a problem for this Avs team. They went 1-4 on the power play again tonight, which drops their power play percentage to 18.3% which is now 20th in the league. 10 minutes later in the first period, former Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri started the scoring, notching his seventh of the season, and his 250th career goal. A little less than two minutes after that, the Avalanche went back onto the power play after a cutting MacKinnon was tripped. Again though, the Avalanche did not capitalize on the man advantage. About 45 seconds after the power play ended, Ross Colton made a fabulous pass around the net to an open Tomas Tatar who banged it in for his first of the season.  After 20 minutes of play, the score was Calgary 1, and Colorado 1.

The second period didn’t start too different from the first, as Calgary got called for slashing on a loose Colton. The slash ended up breaking Colton’s stick. One minute and nine seconds into the Avalanche power play, Avs star defenseman Cale Makar scored his eighth of the season to give the Avalanche the lead. With Makar’s goal, that moved him into second for goals by a defenseman. That lead lasted all of three minutes before Calgary’s Andrew Mangiapane tied it with his sixth of the season. The momentum seemingly turned as Calgary’s Ilya Solovyon was given two minutes for cross-checking. On that power play, Val Nichuskin hit the post on an attempted tip-in but didn’t score. A minute after the Avs power play expired, Miles Wood took the Avalanche’s first penalty of the game on a hold. On the power play, MacKinnon had a breakaway, but he fumbled the puck and lost the scoring chance. Calgary ended up not scoring on the power play, but they did a few minutes later when Clagary’s Blake Coleman scored his eighth of the season to put the Flames up 3-2. Ben Myers of the Avalanche answered right back with his first goal of the season making it tied at three. This was his first game of the season after being called up for an injured Kiviranta. Again, however, the tie game did not last long. One minute and 22 seconds later, Connor Zary of the Flames scored his sixth of the season. Things started to get a little ugly after that. Both Nazem Kadri and Alexander Georgiev received matching minors for roughing with one minute and 42 seconds left in the period. With there being extra space on the ice, Calgary’s forward Yegor Sharangovich scored his sixth of the season to give Calgary a two goal lead heading into the second intermission. After two, Calgary 5, Colorado 3.

 

In between periods, a lot of fans left Ball Arena feeling down about the score, but the fans that stayed, ended up watching a great finish. The third period started with a goaltending change for the Avalanche. Alexander Georgiev was taken out after giving up five goals on 22 shots. Colorado’s backup Ivan Prostetov came in and saved all 11 shots he faced in the third period. Six minutes and 38 seconds into the period, Nichuskin got called for tripping, giving Calgary their second power play of the game. They came out empty and ultimately went 0-2 on the power play. With a little less than nine minutes left in the game, Avs defenseman Josh Manson broke his stick on a slap shot. The puck ended up trickling through the Calgary defense and found its way to Colton for the cleanup goal. Two minutes and 11 seconds after Colton’s goal, Rantanen nudged in a Makar wrister to make it a one goal game with 6:29 left. The Avs were in business, and the crowd was getting back into it. With four minutes and 30 seconds left, MacKinnon created a breakaway for himself, and this time he did not miss. MacKinnon put it right under the right arm of the goaltender Vladar, and put the Avs in front for good. The final score was 6-5, as the Avs came storming back in the third to put away the Calgary Flames.

 

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About the Contributor
Patrick Kaplan, Reporter
Patrick Kaplan loves sports writing, and is working towards a sports media/journalism career. He is a diehard fan of the Rockies, Avalanche, Nuggets, and Patriots. Patrick joined ACC in his senior year of high school, and he loves it. If you have any questions about sports stats, he is your guy.
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