Boedker's shootout goal pushes Avalanche past Flames
CALGARY, Alberta -- Mikkel Boedker knew what he had to do.
After both Joe Colborne and Johnny Gaudreau failed to get a good shot away in their shootout attempts for Calgary , Boedker made no mistake on his to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 win over the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.
"Just coming in with speed and hoping the goaltender bites on your fake shot and (I) brought it to the backhand," said Boedker, who beat Flames goalie Joni Ortio with a backhand shot. "It was one of those things that felt really good and it's going to go a long way confidence-wise."
Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov then stopped Flames center Sean Monahan to seal the shootout win for Colorado (37-31-4), which pulled three points ahead of the Minnesota Wild for the final wild-card playoff spot in the NHL's Western Conference.
"It was really, really big," said Boedker of the come-from-behind victory. "Now we're three ahead. That gives you just slightly more breathing room. You can't take anything for granted, but the more points you can gain when they aren't playing, the better."
Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and Carl Soderberg scored for the Avalanche. Making his fifth straight start in net for Colorado, Varlamov made 30 saves to improve his record to 26-18-3.
"I think once we got it to overtime we said, 'Let's get two here, let's not settle for one'," said Johnson. "They came with a big push in overtime and had some chances. Fortunately the shootout went our way."
Matt Stajan, with his first goal in 30 games, Mark Giordano and Freddie Hamilton scored for the Flames (30-35-6), while Lance Bouma had a pair of assists.
"We're hustling, we're battling," said Calgary coach Bob Hartley, who was impressed with how his players battled throughout the game. "I like our compete level. I really like our starts. We were skating well and I felt we controlled the most of the OT period."
Ortio, who started his seventh game in a row for the Flames, finished with 25 saves.
Trailing 3-2 after two periods, the Avalanche drew even at 9:09 of the third when Soderberg swatted a loose puck in the crease past Ortio, who had stopped a pair of shots by Shawn Matthais.
Colorado had a great chance to win it in overtime when Ortio was penalized for tripping Jarome Iginla in front of his net with 1:32 remaining on the clock, but the Avs were unable to capitalize during the man advantage.
The Flames jumped out to a 3-1 lead early in the second period thanks to back-to-back short-handed goals by Giordano and Hamilton. Giordano took a pass from Josh Jooris and beat Varlamov with a shot to the top corner, blocker side at 5:17 before Hamilton one-timed a pass from Bouma into the Colorado net just 30 seconds later.
"They had a great shift right before that, a great goal, and we just tried to keep the momentum going with a good PK," said Hamilton. "Luckily we got a chance and Boums made a great pass. That was a huge part of the game. It felt awesome, but it would have felt a lot sweeter if we got the win."
Barrie then pulled the Avalanche back within a goal at 8:33 of the second when he floated a shot to the net from a sharp angle that glanced off Giordano's leg on its way into the net behind Ortio.
Playing in his 100th career NHL game, defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka assisted on a goal by Stajan at 10:40 of the first period to give the Flames a 1-0 lead. Jokipakka's hard pass from the point deflected off Stajan's right skate and past Varlamov.
The Avalanche drew even at 17:19 of the first when Johnson converted a nice cross-crease pass from Boedker.
NOTES: Avalanche C Matt Duchene sat out the game because of a knee injury (day-to-day) he suffered during Colorado's 3-1 road victory in Vancouver on Wednesday. ... D Chris Bigras returned to Colorado's lineup after missing four games because of a concussion. ... Avalanche LW Gabriel Landeskog sat out the final contest of a three-game suspension for cross-checking Anaheim Ducks D Simon Despres on March 9. ... D Zach Redmond was the lone healthy scratch for Colorado. ... While D TJ Brodie returned to Calgary's lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury, the Flames lost D Dennis Wideman for the rest of the season because of a triceps injury he sustained Wednesday at home during a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. ... Flames C Sam Bennett missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury, while G Jonas Hiller was a healthy scratch. ... Avalanche coach Patrick Roy chose to dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen.