June 30, 2022

Colorado Avalanche middle Nathan MacKinnon (29) celebrates his purpose with defenseman Cale Makar (8) and proper wing Valeri Nichushkin (13) and proper wing Mikko Rantanen (96) and defenseman Devon Toews (7) within the third interval towards the Calgary Flames at Ball Area in Denver on March 13, 2022.Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports activities by way of Reuters

Darcy Kuemper had his personal participant screening his imaginative and prescient and was nonetheless in a position to carry his stick simply sufficient to deflect a shot down low.

It was simply that type of night time for the Colorado Avalanche goaltender.

Kuemper stopped a career-best 46 pictures in his fourth shutout of the season, Nathan MacKinnon scored twice and the Avalanche beat the Calgary Flames 3-0 on Sunday.

“I favored his sport loads,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar mentioned of Kuemper. “He was sharp from begin to end.”

That’s a stark distinction to final weekend towards the Flames when Kuemper wasn’t sharp and pulled early within the second interval as Calgary claimed a 4-3 time beyond regulation win.

“Positively a unique end result, for positive,” Kuemper cracked. “Profitable’s much more enjoyable, for positive. It was an enormous win for us.”

MacKinnon scored on an influence play within the first interval and added one other purpose within the third. Mikko Rantanen sealed it on an empty-net tally with 1:38 remaining to assist the Avalanche put up their finest document by way of 60 video games in franchise historical past (42-13-5, 89 factors).

Dan Vladar made 29 saves in a match between the highest two groups within the Western Convention.

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The Flames had been taking part in the second sport of a back-to-back, however hardly appeared sluggish and managed the tempo early within the sport. In addition they had double the pictures of Colorado within the third interval.

“It was a hard-fought sport,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter mentioned. “No points with our sport in any respect.”

Kuemper got here up with well timed save after well timed save Sunday, together with a blind block along with his stick within the third as teammate Kurtis MacDermid fell into him.

Even Kuemper’s not fairly positive how he stopped that.

“I felt one thing – I don’t know if it was ‘Dermi’ hitting me or the puck,” mentioned Kuemper, who earned his career-best twenty eighth win of the season. “I used to be simply attempting to sprawl out and recover from there the very best I might.”

The Flames stayed within the sport in the course of the second interval due to Vladar. He stopped a wide-open shot by Erik Johnson by sliding over and deflecting the puck along with his left pad.

About 15 seconds later, Andre Burakovsky dinged a shot off the put up. After which, he confronted a goaltender’s nightmare: MacKinnon open in entrance of the web. However Vladar’s arm blocked his shot.

Kuemper additionally got here up large on a 2-on-1 break by the Flames.

MacKinnon scored his twentieth purpose of the season on a wrist shot that obtained by Vladar halfway by way of the primary interval to offer Colorado a 1-0 lead. The Avalanche thought they added one other a couple of minutes later when Alex Newhook’s shot beat Vladar, clanging off one put up after which the opposite.

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Newhook even lifted his stick in celebration because the goal-horn sounded, however the official motioned to maintain taking part in. Replays confirmed the puck by no means crossed the road.

The most effective save of the opening interval was turned in by Colorado defenceman Devon Toews after a shot by Elias Lindholm trickled towards the web. Toews reached behind Kuemper and knocked it away.

“A disappointing loss,” Flames defenceman Christopher Tanev mentioned. “Tight sport, playofflike sport. Got here down to a couple little issues that they did higher than us to win the sport.”