Calgary Flames 4 - Dallas Stars 5
1st: 0:19- Dube (4) (Brodie , Giordano )
2nd: 13:00- Forbort (1) (N/A)
3rd: 12:24 SHG- Rieder (2) (N/A), 17:11 PPG- Bennett (3) (Lindholm , Gaudreau )
1st: 2:42- Radulov (1) (Benn , Klingberg ), 11:14- Heiskanen (1) (Radulov )
2nd: 10:52- Heiskanen (2) (Klingberg , Bishop ), 15:05 PPG- Perry (2) (Faksa , Hintz )
3rd: 19:20- Oleksiak (2) (Perry , Janmark )
The numerical digit one, twice. The Calgary Flames and the Dallas Stars now find themselves deadlocked at one game apiece, which for the Flames, marked their 11th straight Game 2 loss.
It was a contest eerily reminiscent of an equally painful game that stuck in my mind, particularly because of the global pandemic that would make it the final match of the 2019-20 regular season. The Flames fell behind 3-0 to the Vegas Golden Knights on March 8th, before rallying en route to Matthew Tkachuk’s tying the game with 3 minutes left in superbly dramatic fashion. Oh, and then Shea Theodore scored with a 1:10 left and nullified the entire effort.
It was the same storyline on Thursday, as the Flames fell behind 4-2 going into the third. A hard push on special teams lead to Sam Bennett’s tying goal with almost 3 minutes left. Oh, and then Jamie Oleksiak buried a cross ice pass to win the game for the Stars.
Game 2 picked up right where Game 1 left off, just with a different man in net. A bounce off the end boards and a lifted stick from Bennett left Dillon Dube free to chip a backhand over Ben Bishop just 19 seconds in. That makes 3 straight games for Dube with a goal, and 4 straight with a point.
Dallas was jolted out of their slumber, and controlled the remainder of the first period, and much of the second. Alexander Radulov banked a backhander off of Derek Forbort 2 minutes after the Dube goal, and Miro Heiskanen scored his first of the playoffs off a quick shot midway through the first.
Heiskanen had a truly superb game, and he snuck his second of the game through Cam Talbot from the half-boards early in the second. Talbot wasn’t particularly bad in this game, but you sure would have liked to see him make that save with 39 seconds remaining after the hard push.
Forbort evened up his own goal from the first, as his long range wrist shot dipped under the blocker of Bishop with exactly 7 minutes remaining in the second, to cut the Stars lead to 3-2. The goal was the first Forbort has scored with the Flames, as well as his first career playoff goal. He has 2 points in the past 2 games.
Genuine good guy Corey Perry had approximately 45 attempts on a rebound generated by Roope Hintz, before he was able to chip home the Stars first powerplay goal of the series and increased the lead to 4-2 going into the third.
Would you believe that a Calgary Flames goal was called off in the playoffs? Well you best be believin’ it, as Andrew Mangiapane had a marker taken away for a kicking motion (the referees also took a long unknown look at the Forbort goal, both reviews which were not initiated by Dallas).
TJ Brodie lost several teeth from a Tyler Seguin high-stick in the net mouth scramble, but the Flames were unable to bury anything on the double-minor. On the same sequence, Tkachuk was crunched between Jamie Benn and Oleksiak, and suffered significant head trauma as he banged skulls with the latter. Tkachuk was wobbly leaving the ice, and did not return.
The Stars were put on the powerplay from a bad penalty taken by Mark Giordano, but it would result in a momentum shift for the Flames. The puck bobbled on John Klingberg, and Tobias Rieder carried it all the way in for his second short-handed goal of the playoffs.
With Tkachuk out of the game, Sam Bennett took his place on a late powerplay, which paid immediate dividends. Bennett touched home a shot pass from Elias Lindholm, to even the game up with less than 3 minutes remaining.
A bad change and defensive confusion allowed Corey Perry to slide a long cross ice pass to a streaking Oleksiak, who pushed the game winner past Talbot.
The Flames will have no time to dwell on this heartbreak, as Game 3 comes immediately tomorrow, again at 8:30pm MST.
Flame of the Game
Sam Bennett (F): Bennett’s hits have truly been thunderous, and he is clearly starting to have an impact on the Dallas defencemen in their own zone. His 3 goals are second to only Dube for the team lead. With Tkachuk most likely out for Game 3 (and hopefully not longer), look for him to move into the top 6, as well as keep that powerplay spot.