Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Flames failed to keep their two-game winning streak going in Dallas with a 4-3 loss to the Stars, and are now back in 14th place in the Western conference.
The visitors, who are now winless in their past seven games on the road, surrendered three goals in the first 20 minutes, and were outshot 12-5 in the process.
It wasn't until halfway through the second period that the Flames ended Karri Lehtonen's shutout bid when Jiri Hudler scored a powerplay marker with Cody Eakin in the box for interference (for more on this, see Erin Bolen's excellent post on why Eakin's hit on Matt Stajan was not as bad as it initially appeared to be) to put the visiting team on the board. Just a few minutes later, Jay Bouwmeester brought his team to within one with Jordie Benn off for hooking. Bouwmeester is tied for second in the league with Brian Campbell and Paul Martin in scoring by defencemen with six goals in 27 games so far this season.
The Flames' late second period push would be quashed in the third period. Down by one in the final frame, Calgary managed just five shots on goal in the last twenty minutes of the game, and Louis Eriksson would put the game out of reach for the Flames when a loose puck bounced off of Jarome Iginla's skate, onto his stick and past Joey MacDonald to put the Stars up 4-2 with less than ten minutes remaining.
Alex Tanguay scored a beauty when a Mike Cammalleri pass found him all alone deep in Stars territory, but despite a late-game blitzkrieg, there was no magic left in the tank for the Flames, who again managed less than 20 shots in a hockey game.
After sustaining a bone bruise and small fracture in the bone in his right foot as a result of blocking a shot in Friday's win over the Nashville Predators, Mikael Backlund played 13:53 in a losing effort, collecting two shots on net and winning 60% of his draws.
Roman Cervenka, drawing back into the lineup for the first time in a week, played just 3:40, as Bob Hartley limited the use of his fourth line in this game. Brian McGrattan played just 1:52 and Tim Jackman, 3:30. All three players got crushed in terms of Corsi despite being on the ice for such a short amount of time; McGrattan and Jackman were both -8, Cervenka, -10.
Not only did Blake Comeau play more than the three of them combined, he also played more than Hudler and Backlund. There is definitely something wrong with that.
Iginla, Tanguay, and Cammalleri took the most defensive zone faceoffs of all Flames forwards last night, although Iginla managed to finish on the positive side of things with five shots on goal and a +4 corsi rating. Tanguay was even while Cammy was -1. The remainder of the game was spent compensating for a terrible first period on the Flames' end of things, and although they bounced back reasonably well in terms of scoring chances and shots on goal, but a defensive blip in the third period meant that it didn't translate onto the scoresheet.
Miikka Kiprusoff will be back in net for the Flames, who are are back at it again tomorrow night in Nashville.