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Flames will lean on 3M Line to shut down potent Avalanche offence

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CALGARY — Asked about a player who will almost undoubtedly find himself in the limelight as early as Thursday night, Bill Peters smiled.

“He’s got a little twinkle in his eye doesn’t he?” chuckled the Calgary Flames coach when asked about Matthew Tkachuk. “He’s a big-game player, he likes the spotlight. He likes to be in the trenches and in the middle of everything and I’m sure he will be.”

Of that, there can be no dispute.

Make no mistake, the sexiest storyline heading into Calgary’s first-round matchup with Colorado revolves around the clash between two of the league’s top trios.

But the fact is, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm will very rarely play against Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen.

That’s where Tkachuk and his line will enter stage right for a starring role.

The task of shutting down Colorado’s MGM Line will go to Calgary’s 3M Line, which features Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik and Mr. Tkachuk.

Given the job they did........

© Sportsnet