With plenty of drama swirling between Colorado and Calgary off the ice, the Flames and Avalanche added their fair share of fireworks on the ice Thursday at Pepsi Center.
Just hours after Calgary signed Avalanche restricted free agent center Ryan O'Reilly to a two-year offer sheet, Matt Duchene netted the game-winner to cap a three-goal third period, as the Avalanche mounted a furious comeback to take a 5-4 decision over the Flames.
Colorado, which trailed 3-0 after 20 minutes, announced it had matched the offer sheet during the first intermission, making O'Reilly a member of the Avalanche for the next two years, and the news seemed to provide the necessary motivation to the hosts.
Gabriel Landeskog registered a goal and two assists, while David Jones and Paul Stastny recorded a goal and assist apiece for the Avalanche, who put the brakes on a three-game skid with their third straight home victory.
"Tonight we showed how much character we have in this room," Landeskog said of the comeback. "It was embarrassing to start. We knew we had to get at least that one goal to get going. Every time we got a goal we kept feeding off the momentum."
Ryan O'Byrne also lit the lamp and Semyon Varlamov stopped 19-of-23 shots in the triumph.
Jarome Iginla tallied twice, while Jay Bouwmeester and Mike Cammalleri each scored once for the Flames, who have dropped two straight. Joey MacDonald allowed all five goals on 36 shots in the setback.
Facing a three-goal deficit heading into the second, Colorado netted a pair of goals over the first 10 minutes of the middle stanza to pull within one.
The first came off the stick of O'Byrne, who blasted a shot from the top of the right circle that sailed high over the short-side shoulder of MacDonald at the 5:11 mark.
Just under five minutes later, Jones was credited with his third goal of the season when he pounded home a rebound amid a scrum in front to make it 3-2 just shy of the midway point.
Calgary had the final say in the frame, however, as Iginla added a power-play marker at 13:16, when he recovered his own rebound on the low right side and lifted a shot high over Varlamov to send the Flames into the third with a 4-2 lead.
Landeskog opened Colorado's third-period flurry with his second of the year just 23 seconds in on a great individual effort, as he charged down the right wing and held off a defender before cutting in front and slipping a one-handed shot through MacDonald's pads to make it 4-3.
The Avalanche found the equalizer when Landeskog flipped a shot from the top of the left circle that MacDonald padded away, but a charging Stastny was able to get his skate on the puck and redirect it into the net to knot the game at the 6:34 mark.
Colorado capped the comeback with 9:08 remaining, when Jamie McGinn threw a shot on net from the low left side and recovered his own rebound before one- touching the puck to a trailing Duchene, who one-timed it into the back of the net to give the hosts the lead for good.
"We were battling up into the third and that's when it hit us," Iginla lamented. "We went into a shell. We stopped forechecking, we stopped being aggressive for the puck and when that happened we lost all the momentum."
Calgary jumped out to two-goal lead just over five minutes in thanks to a pair of goals 33 seconds apart. Bouwmeester's one-timer from the slot made it 1-0 at the 4:28 mark before Cammalleri's rebound goal at the 5:01 mark doubled that edge.
Iginla capped the Flames' first-period surge when he stuffed one home from the low left side with 54 seconds left in the first.
Colorado improved to 6-2-1 at home and has won four straight against the Flames, including a 6-3 decision on Jan. 31 in Calgary ... It was the first three-point game of Landeskog's career ... Colorado finished 0-for-5 on the power play, while Calgary went 1-for-5 on the man advantage.