Mike Smith, Sam Bennett carrying the Flames’ load so far

Rantanen back for Avs in Game 1 loss to Flames

"I haven't quite heard anything like that before in my career, it gives you some confidence when you hear your name getting chanted", Smith said. MacKinnon has looked like a man on a mission at the start of the series, generating 12 shots on goal in two games.

"It is going to come down to some of the grit and determination and willingness to hang onto the puck and generate offensively like we have all year", Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said before Game 2.

Matthew Tkachuk - The Flames winger always seemed like the type of guy who would thrive in the playoffs, and he lived up to that hype in Game 1 with a highly physical game from start-to-finish on Thursday night. "I was able to make a couple big saves there in the second, then we go down the ice and (Mangiapane) scores a big goal for us, so obviously that's a big momentum swing in the game".

What many believed to be the Calgary Flames' weakness heading into the postseason turned out to be a strength in Game 1 against the Colorado Avalanche.

"I think we got a lot of good movement going", he said of a Colorado attack that often swarmed the Calgary end, showing great puck control that kept the Flames on their heels for long stretches. "I liked the speed we played with", said Landeskog.

The only cheers heard at home during the regular season were of the Bronx variety as Smith struggled at times, posting an.889 save percentage on home ice.

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However, Flames rookie Rasmus Andersson tied the score five minutes later on a power play, as Colorado's Derick Brassard made his third trip of the game to the penalty box. Johnny Gaudreau's initial shot didn't get through to the net, nor did Bennett's shot attempt right after - but Monahan's third try went into the top corner, over the glove of Grubauer. MacKinnon had a few good opportunities, to be sure, but Flames goaltender Mike Smith stood tall when he had to.

"It felt a lot better than the other", Smith quipped, when asked how tonight's chants felt.

"We have to be better".

Smith's trapper, which has robbed the Avalanche of so many great chances early in this series, was beaten in dramatic fashion on MacKinnon's seventh shot of the night. He didn't have almost the same impact on this game, and that's what Zadorov can provide that no other player on the Avs can. "We had moments tonight but we have to put together a full 60". "Down late or running into a hot goalie, we know we can win games against this team".

The series continues on Monday night with Game 3 at the Pepsi Center in Colorado.

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