With ‘Game 7’ win against Flames, Avs still barely in playoff race

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The Colorado Avalanche still have a chance of making the playoffs, even if it is a small one, after earning a 3-2 victory against the Calgary Flames last night.

After a scoreless first, Alex Tanguay and Ryan O’Reilly each found the back of the net to give the Avalanche a 2-0 lead going into the second intermission. As has often been the case this season, Calgary battled back in the final frame, but this time it wasn’t enough.

“It’s a huge win. We knew it was a Game 7 before the game, for us,” Tanguay said, per the team’s website. “We look at the standings, we know that we’re going to get ourselves to that 95-96 points in order to have a chance at getting into the playoffs. It’s going to take a lot of wins until the end of the year. Tonight was crucial. It’s a team we’re battling with. We’ll take it.”

Tanguay wasn’t overselling the importance of this game. Had the Avalanche lost, they would have found themselves seven points back in the Wild Card race with just 13 games remaining. Being five points shy of the second Wild Card seed Winnipeg Jets isn’t great either — especially with Los Angeles and San Jose between those two clubs — but at least the Avalanche still have a fighting chance.

He’s also right in the sense that it will probably take 95 or 96 points for Colorado to make the postseason. Sports Club Stats doesn’t give Colorado better than even chances of making the playoffs with anything less than 96 points, which would require a 10-2-1 or 9-1-3 record for the rest of the campaign.

In other words, the Avalanche have plenty of crucial games ahead of them. The next is Thursday against Arizona.