January 10, 2019 1:22 am

Captain Mark Giordano has three assists as Calgary Flames down Colorado Avalanche 5-3

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Captain Mark Giordano had three assists as the Calgary Flames kept on rolling with a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

The three assists gives Giordano 303 career assists, moving him past Joe Nieuwendyk and into fifth on the Flames all-time list.

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 and have a two-point lead on Vegas atop the Pacific Division.

Red-hot Johnny Gaudreau had two assists to extend his point streak to six games.

Nathan MacKinnon extended his point streak to eight games with a goal for Colorado (20-16-8).

Erik Johnson and Mikko Rantanen scored as the slumping Avalanche dropped to 1-6-2 in their last nine. Off to an 0-2-0 start, Colroado continues its five-game all-Canada road trip on Saturday night in Montreal.

Calgary snapped a 2-2 tie at 12:57 of the second period on Lindholm’s power-play goal, which only took 10 seconds.

Colorado Avalanche’s Matt Calvert, right, and Calgary Flames’ Garnet Hathaway crash to the ice during second period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

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After a Tyson Barrie hooking penalty, Sean Monahan won the faceoff and the Flames maintained possession with Lindholm taking the feed from Giordano and wiring a shot past Semyon Varlamov.

The misery continue for Colorado on the penalty kill. The one goal allowed on two power plays drops them to just 10-for-19 over the last six games.

Meanwhile, the Flames penalty kill had a big night, going a perfect 4-for-4 against an Avs team that came into the game ranked fifth on 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, deflecting in Giordano’s point shot for a 4-2 lead, would end 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 home side doubled their lead five minutes later on Jankowski’s seventh.

But the Avalanche got back to even before the period ended.

In a disastrous shift, 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 Mikko 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, only tested 15 times, fell to 11-9-5.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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