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Avs, Flames Head to Colorado for Game 3 with Series Knotted 1-1

The Pepsi Center is the site of Game 3 in the first-round series between the Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames. Colorado earned a split at the Scotiabank Saddledome by picking up a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 2, after Calgary opened the series with a 4-0 win. The Flames are a -125 favorite to grab the series lead with the Avs coming back at +105 and the total opening at 6 goals.

Flames vs Avalanche Game Center

Standout Stats

  • Colorado was swept in the three-game season series vs Calgary and was topped 4-0 in Game 1 of this set, but earned its first win over the Flames since February 28, 2018 when Nathan MacKinnon scored the overtime winner in Game 2. The road victory was the first for the Avs over the Flames since March 18, 2016.
  • The Avalanche looked a little unprepared and outmatched in the opening game, getting outshot 32-26 and out-hit 36-33. That being said, Colorado looked ready to play in Game 2, outshooting Calgary 39-37, but was still out-hit 24-20.
  • The Flames have been red-hot on their power play and the Avs have to be more disciplined if they want to survive this series. Calgary has had 10 power-play opportunities through the first two games and has buried three goals over those chances, but also gave up a short-handed goal to Matt Nieto in Game 2. Conversely, Colorado is having issues on its power play, going 0-for-8, but it ranked seventh in the NHL with a 22.0 PP percentage in the regular season.
  • There were question marks surrounding Calgary’s goaltending heading into the playoffs as starting netminder Mike Smith had a .898 save percentage to rank 62nd in the NHL and was 28th with a 2.72 goals-against average. However, he has put those doubts to rest as he leads the playoffs with a .954 save percentage, has the only shutout of the postseason and has an impressive 1.40 GAA.
  • The man between the pipes for Colorado has been holding his own as well, as Philipp Grubauer ranks seventh in the playoffs with a 2.36 GAA and a .926 save percentage, both of which are better than his regular-season stats. The Germany native had a 2.64 GAA and .917 save percentage during the regular season.
  • In addition to their 39 shots on goal in Game 2, the Avalanche also had 29 shot attempts that were blocked by the Flames, really showing the speed and aggression Colorado brought in Game 2, and I anticipate a high-paced third game.

My Best Bet for Calgary vs Colorado Game 3

OVER 6

I felt like Colorado found another gear in Game 2 and now coming home to the Pepsi Center I expect it to continue that momentum in another high-paced game. I also think that Calgary has a counterpunch in it and is going to come out flying as well. If the goalies aren’t on their A game, it could get out of hand one way or another and I anticipate the OVER to come through.

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