Flames begin playoff series against the Avalanche
Colorado Avalanche (38-30-14, fifth in the Central Division during the regular season) vs. Calgary Flames (50-25-7, first in the Pacific Division during the regular season)
Calgary, Alberta; Thursday, 10 p.m. EDT
WESTERN CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND: Calgary hosts series opener
BOTTOM LINE: The Calgary Flames host the Colorado Avalanche to start the Western Conference first round.
The Flames are 29-18-3 in conference play. Calgary has scored 289 goals and is second in the Western Conference averaging 3.5 goals per game. Johnny Gaudreau leads the team with 36.
The Avalanche are 17-16-8 in road games. Colorado averages 9.4 penalty minutes per game, the fourth-most in the league. Ian Cole leads the team serving 115 total minutes. The teams meet Thursday for the fourth time this season. Calgary went 3-0 against Colorado during the regular season.
TOP PERFORMERS: Gaudreau has recorded 99 total points while scoring 36 goals and adding 63 assists for the Flames. Austin Czarnik has collected six assists over the last 10 games for Calgary.
Nathan MacKinnon leads the Avalanche with 99 total points, scoring 41 goals and collecting 58 assists. Tyson Barrie has five goals and four assists over the last 10 games for Colorado.
LAST 10 GAMES: Avalanche: 7-1-2, averaging three goals, 4.8 assists, 2.7 penalties and 5.7 penalty minutes while giving up 2.1 goals per game with a .941 save percentage.
Flames: 6-4-0, averaging 3.3 goals, 5.7 assists, 2.8 penalties and 6.2 penalty minutes while giving up two goals per game with a .917 save percentage.
Flames Injuries: Sam Bennett: day to day (upper body), Sean Monahan: day to day (illness).
Avalanche Injuries: Mikko Rantanen: day to day (upper body).