CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Rookie Jon Gillies made 28 saves for his second straight victory, Mikael Backlund had a goal and two assists and the Calgary Flames beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-1 on Saturday.
Troy Brouwer added a goal and an assist to help the Flames move past idle St. Louis into the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Michael Frolik, Mark Giordano and Sean Monahan also scored, and Matthew Tkachuk had two assists.
Called up from Stockton of the AHL with former Coyotes goalie Mike Smith sidelined by a lower-body injury, Gillies made his second straight start and fourth appearance of the season. The 6-foot-6 former Providence College goalie beat Arizona 5-2 on the road Thursday night.
Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames goes head-to-head against Alexander Kerfoot of the Colorado Avalanche during Saturday’s game at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. (credit: Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
Before the game, Calgary placed Smith on injured reserve. He has missed six games.
Nathan MacKinnon scored for Colorado, and Semyon Varlamov stopped 24 shots. The Avalanche were 1-1-1 on a three-game trip.
Calgary opened the scoring 18 seconds into the game when Frolik took a pass from Backlund in the slot and fired a shot past Varlamov.
Just past the five-minute mark, Gillies stopped a shot by MacKinnon, then slid across to get his left pad on Tyson Barrie’s rebound attempt.
Giordano made it 2-0 at 7:24 when took Backlund’s pass and fired a one-timer past Varlamov.
The Avalanche pulled within on MacKinnon’s goal with 3:36 remaining in the first. MacKinnon dumped the puck in and it bounced off the post and Gillies before trickling in.
In the second, Gillies made a nice glove save off J.T. Compher during a Colorado power play.
Monahan deflected Michael Stone’s point shot past Varlamov on the power play at 10:50 for his team-leading 29th goal. Calgary has scored at least one power-play goal in six straight games and eight of its last nine.
Brouwer snapped a shot to the blocker side past Varlamov at 2:39 of the third. Backlund scored Calgary’s second power-play goal of the game at 14:46 to round out the scoring.
NOTES: The Flames ended a stretch of eight straight games where they allowed the first goal. The Flames recalled forwards Tanner Glass and Andrew Mangiapane from Stockton, and sent forward Ryan Lomberg back to the Heat.
Avalanche: Host Vancouver on Monday night.
Flames: At Dallas on Tuesday night.