Calgary Flames 3 - Dallas Stars 2 (SO)
Flames: 2:49 (3rd) - Lindholm (2) (Giordano) PP 5:32 (3rd) - Hanifin (2) (Backlund, Tkachuk)
Stars: 16:39 (2nd) - L’Esperance (1) (Hanley, Faksa) 0:09 (3rd) - Benn (1) (Hintz, Klingberg) PP
Shootout: Seguin (Goal), Monahan (Goal), Radulov (No Goal), Tkachuk (No Goal), Benn (No Goal), Gaudreau (Goal)
The Flames hadn’t won in Dallas in their last three tries and for a while it looked like that streak was going to extend to four in a row. But with some hard third period work and a little magic off the stick of Johnny Gaudreau in the shoot-out round the Flames would leave Dallas with a win and two points.
This game had the feel of a playoff game from the drop of the puck, which is rare in contests between these two. Typically the Stars just out-muscle the Flames, stand them up in the neutral zone, barely any offence occurs and Dallas walks away with a 2-1 or 2-0 victory. Yawn Fest for sure, but not Thursday night.
Both teams came out flying from the start and produced a very entertaining and maddening game to watch. Dallas would take a 2-0 lead on goals by Joel L’Esperance and Jamie Benn and as the third period was chugging along it looked like a typical loss in Dallas. Not so much. After Benn gave the Stars a two goal lead just nine seconds in the the final period, Calgary would find the scoreboard on a laser from Elias Lindholm, cutting the Dallas lead to 2-1. Calgary would continue to push back and chip away at Dallas and they would get the equalizer less than three minutes after finally beating Ben Bishop. Noah Hanifin would score his second goal of the season thanks to Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk and miraculously the Flames, for the second game in a row, dug themselves out of a hole and managed to secure at least a point.
Overtime would settle nothing between these two and it would take a shoot-out to determine who would walk away with two points. Each team would score on their first attempt with Tyler Seguin beating David Rittich and Sean Monahan (who was robbed by Bishop multiple time in regulation) would score for Calgary. After that both goaltenders settled in and held back the opposition until Johnny Gaudreau had the puck on his stick. Calgary’s point collecting wizard would absolutely undress Ben Bishop with some nifty stick work and score the game winner in the shoot-out to give the Flames a 3-2 victory.
Both teams played incredibly well in this contest and for a game between the Flames and Stars it was very entertaining. Calgary struggled early on to stay out of the box (four penalties on the night) and they were sloppy with the puck at times. A bad turnover by a struggling Sam Bennett led to the Stars first goal of the game and a high sticking penalty by Johnny Gaudreau (second trip to the box of the night) led to Dallas’ second goal, this one on the PP. The Flames didn’t have a ton of PP chances on the night, but when they finally got one, they made it count thanks to Elias Lindholm.
Not to be lost in all of this was the play of David Rittich. For what seems like the first time in a LONG time the Flames have a true #1 goaltender. Rittich made 34 saves in this game, many under harrowing circumstances and was able to get his second win on the season. It just seemed tonight that when the Flames needed Rittich to step up he did and did so in spectacular fashion.
Johnny Gaudreau’s GWG in the shoot-out was a thing of beauty, but his night wasn’t that pretty as a whole. Gaudreau took the aforementioned costly penalty that led to a goal and he turned the puck over a few times when the Flames needed him to hold onto it. He did lead the Flames with five SOG and his overtime and shoot-out performances turned around what was a pretty “meh” night for the star forward into something good.
Flame Of The Game
David Rittich (G). What more needs to be said about Big Save Dave? He’s been on point the entire season and he seems to get better with each start. Every aspect, ok his puck handling needs some work, of his game was strong tonight and he held the Flames together and allowed them to climb back into this game when they were down by two goals early in the third period.
10/12: Calgary Flames @ Vegas Golden Knights, 8 PM MT