Calgary Flames 2 Dallas Stars 1
The Flames hit the road after a very successful 4 game home stand and paid a visit to the Dallas to battle the Stars. Both teams are separated by 2 points in a scrambled Western Conference and the Flames were looking to win their 4th straight and they got what they came for.
The first period didn’t offer a ton of excitement. Each team looked like they were playing a little cautiously, almost trying to figure each other out. The Flames looked like they were going on the power play after Jamie Benn got Dennis Wideman in the neck with this stick, but after the officials got together, it turns out no power play for the Flames and the game continued full strength. Dallas got the first score of the game after Matthew Tkachuk appeared to be hooked on his way to the net, but no call and Dallas started the other way. The Stars’ Curtis McKenzie came streaking down the right side and beat Chad Johnson to put the Stars up 1-0. That was one of a few too many rushes that Dallas had in the period as they out shot the Flames 9-7 in the first.
The Flames had some fantastic scoring chances early on in the 2nd, but Kari Lehtonen had other ideas. First he stoned Johnny Gaudreau as he tried to go 5 hole on a breakaway. Then with each team down a man, playing 4 on 4, Gaudreau was once again stopped by Lehtonen with a beautiful right skate save to keep the Flames off the board. Calgary got another quality scoring chance when Deryk Engelland went to the box for cross checking. Matt Stajan tore off after a loose puck and had the ice all to himself, but lost control of the puck as he was getting ready to shoot and the Flames failed on a short handed attempt. There couldn’t be more breakaway chances could there? Yes.
The Flames once again pounced on a loose puck and Johnny Gaudreau and Alex Chiasson took off on a 2 on none. Chiasson fed Gaudreau at the last minute and Gaudreau did not miss this time, putting the Flames on the board and making the score 1-1. At 4:37 of the 2nd, Calgary appeared to have their second goal of the period as Mark Giordano buried an absolute bomb passed Lehtonen, but after a coaches challenge the video replay showed Chiasson was offside entering the zone. So no goal, we remained tied 1-1 after 2.
The Flames found themselves out shot early in the 3rd period, but their hard work and effort would pay off at 9:49 of the final period. Sean Monahan situated himself out front and his former line mate, Johnny Gaudreau, fed him the puck and he jammed home the Flames second goal of the game to give them their first lead. Chad Johnson would make that lead stand as he made 4-5 game saving stops on his way to his 4th straight win.
The Flames certainly earned this win tonight. Garnet Hathaway and Micheal Ferland may have played their best game together and Kris Versteeg continues to provide an offensive spark (though he may have re-injured himself in this game). The game play was all over the place with it being stagnant at times and then wide open minutes later. The Flames held on in the third period, but they could have been up by at least 2 goals heading into the final period with all of their breakaway chances in the second. The Flames are off on Wednesday and will head to Arizona to take on the Coyotes Thursday with 2 huge points in hand.
Flame of The Game
While there are a lot of choices from tonight, the honor goes to Johnny Gaudreau. In his second game back from injury he had another 2 point night with a goal and an assist and could have had more. He had 3 breakaway attempts and he had 3 shots on goal and was a +1.