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(Colo)-Avalanche Beat Flames 4-3 In Season Opener

By: John Axtell Posted at: 10/03/2019 11:34 PM
By MICHAEL KELLY
 Associated Press
     DENVER (AP) - Mikko Rantanen had two goals less than a week after agreeing to a contract with Colorado, Joonas Donskoi scored twice in his debut and the Avalanche beat the Calgary Flames 5-3 on Thursday night.

     The Avalanche defeated Calgary in the first round of last season's playoffs, beating the Western Conference's top seed in five games.

     Rantanen was a restricted free agent heading into the summer and he remained in his native Finland while contract negations dragged on through training camp. The parties finally agreed to a six-year, $55.5 million deal on Saturday night and Rantanen joined the team on Sunday, four days before the start of the season.
 
   He scored a go-ahead goal in the first period and added the eventual decisive score on the power play late in the second period, minutes after J.T. Compher gave Colorado a 3-2 lead.
 
    Mark Giordano scored 16 seconds after Rantanen's second goal.

     Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan each had a goal and an assist for Calgary. David Rittich had 26 saves for the Flames, who started the season the same way last season ended - with a loss.

     Donskoi got Colorado off to a quick start with a power-play goal 5:59 in, and the teams traded goals the rest of the period.
 
    Gaudreau's goal 1:50 into the second period tied it and Donskoi scored into an empty net with 1:09 left in the third.
 
   Colorado goalie Philipp Grubauer had 26 saves.
 
    NOTES: Calgary LW Milan Lucic was given a game misconduct late in the second period. ... The Flames announced Thursday they had signed general manager Brad Treliving to a mult-year contract extension. Treliving is in his sixth year as the club's GM. ... Avalanche D Conor Timmins made his NHL debut Thursday night. He was Colorado's second round pick in the 2017 draft. Fellow defenseman Cale Makar had an assist in his first regular-season game. Makar played in 10 playoff games last spring.

     UP NEXT
     Flames: Host the Vancouver Canucks in their home opener Saturday night.
     Avalanche: Host the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

     ---


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