Giordano has 3 assists, Flames down Avalanche 5-3
CALGARY, Alberta — Mark Giordano had three assists and the Calgary Flames kept on rolling with a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.
Mikael Backlund, Mark Jankowski, Elias Lindholm, Michael Frolik and Matthew Tkachuk, into an empty net, scored for Calgary (28-13-4), which is 6-1-1 in its last eight games. The Flames have a two-point lead over Vegas atop the Pacific Division.
Johnny Gaudreau added two assists to extend his point streak to six games.
Giordano has 303 career assists, moving him past Joe Nieuwendyk into fifth on the franchise list.
Nathan MacKinnon ran his point streak to eight games with a goal for Colorado. Erik Johnson and Mikko Rantanen also scored as the slumping Avalanche dropped to 1-6-2 in their last nine games.
Calgary snapped a 2-all tie at 12:57 of the second period on Lindholm’s power-play goal.
After a hooking penalty on Tyson Barrie, Sean Monahan won the faceoff and the Flames maintained possession. Lindholm took a feed from Giordano and wired a shot past goalie Semyon Varlamov. Colorado has killed off only 10 of 19 power plays over the last six games.
Meanwhile, the Flames’ penalty kill had a big night, going 4 for 4 against an Avalanche team that came into the game ranked fifth with the man advantage. Calgary has also been scuffling, entering the game having given up seven power-play goals on the previous 20 chances.
Frolik’s goal at 9:14 of the third, when he deflected in Giordano’s point shot for a 4-2 lead, ended up the game-winner after Rantanen scored with 38 seconds remaining and the goalie pulled.
Calgary got off to a fast start when Backlund buried James Neal’s rebound at 5:34. The Flames doubled their lead five minutes later on Jankowski’s seventh. But the Avalanche got back to even before the period ended.
Consecutive giveaways by Calgary goaltender David Rittich and Monahan resulted in the Avs getting a tic-tac-toe goal from their top line with MacKinnon completing the passing sequence with Gabriel Landeskog and Rantanen.
Johnson’s shot just inside the post tied it with 19 seconds left in the period.
Rittich, who was sharp all night, had 32 stops to improve to 16-4-3.
Varlamov, tested only 15 times, fell to 11-9-5.
Avalanche: Colorado is 0-2-0 on a five-game trip to Canada that continues Saturday night in Montreal.
Flames: Host the Florida Panthers on Friday night.
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Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or email@example.com