Flames’ Gaudreau steps up on biggest stage with OT winner to set up Battle of Alberta

CALGARY – There were plenty of questions surrounding Johnny Gaudreau as he entered the playoffs.

It’s the one that was asked after his Game 7 overtime winner Sunday night that was perhaps the easiest to answer.

Where did his short-side, roof job over Jake Oettinger 15 minutes into the extra frame rank amongst all his goals?

“Is that a question, really?” he smiled, still buzzing after being mobbed by teammates and shaking hands with the Dallas Stars.

“C’mon. There’s no bigger stage than what we just had there. It was really special for me. I was really excited. You dream about stuff like that, scoring in Game 7 in overtime.”

So much for talk of this being Gaudreau’s last game as a Flame.

Instead, it was perhaps his most memorable, scoring his second game-winner in the tightest of series to set up the first Battle of Alberta in 31 years.

He didn’t hoist the team on his shoulders like Connor McDavid, but when his team needed him most he was there, ending a torturous evening for a C of Red that stood on its feet for the bulk of an overtime frame that ended with the Flames 67th shot of the night finally beating Oettinger.

The roar or the crowd was as loud as anything the building has ever endured, which is fitting given the moment will go down in club history as one of its finest.

After all, the…

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