Avalanche win season opener on home ice against Flames | VailDaily.com

Avalanche win season opener on home ice against Flames

Mike Chambers, Denver Post
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon #29 driving to the goal in the 3rd period during their win over the Calgary Flames 5-3 at the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver, Colorado on Oct. 3, 2019.
Joe Amon, The Denver Post

In Game 1 of the 82-game regular season started Thursday, the Avalanche looked as if it could win them all. That won’t happen, of course, but the Avs began the season the way they and many others expected.

Considered one of the NHL’s top five teams, according to Las Vegas and others, Colorado looked sharp in all areas in defeating the Calgary Flames— the defending Western Conference regular-season champions — 5-3 before a sellout crowd of 18,016 at the Pepsi Center.

It was Colorado’s fifth-straight victory over Calgary dating back to last season. In the playoffs last spring, the No. 8-seeded Avs won the last four games of a first-round series to eliminate the Flames in five games.

Mikko Rantanen and newcomer Joonas Donskoi each had two goals for the Avs and J.T. Compher also scored. Goalie Philipp Grubauer was tremendous in the third period, stopping 14-of-14 shots to complete his 27-save performance.

“As the game went on, the second period, you got more into the game,” Grubauer said. “Although we played a couple preseason games it’s still a little nerve-wracking, with the (opening-night) ceremony and delay before the game. But it worked out. We played really good.”

Read more via The Denver Post.