Calgary Flames vs Dallas Stars, 8:30 PM MT, Rogers Place, Edmonton AB
TV: NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, SN - Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames (1) - Dallas Stars (1)
The Flames were THIS close to getting Game 2 to overtime, but a bad defensive lapse left Jamie Oleksiak 2,365 feet from the nearest Calgary defender as he sent the winning goal past Cam Talbot to give the Stars a 5-4 victory.
The Flames didn’t play well at all and yet they managed to claw and dig their way back into a game they had no business thinking about winning. Sam Bennett gave the team and fan base hope with his game tying goal, but as the Flames tend to do, they collapsed. This was a classic Flames “they’re giving us hope, just to kill it in the final minutes” game. All the Flames had to do was hang on for less than three minutes to get to OT, but it wasn’t in the cards.
What did the Flames do well that they could carry over into Friday? Well, they never quit for one. They could have easily packed it in down 4-2, but they didn’t. They kept pushing and it worked for the most part. Once they figured out that Ben Bishop wasn’t really that good and that shooting the puck is good, things got better. The Flames were BADLY out shot by the Stars 29-15 over the first two periods. Oddly enough Dallas scored 4 times in the first two periods, while the Flames scored twice. In the final frame Calgary out shot Dallas 11-7 and low and behold, the Flames scored twice. This isn’t rocket science folks. The good guys also continued to be physical, out hitting the Stars 44-41 on the night. That’s the good.
There’s a lot more bad. Cam Talbot had his first clunker of the post season, giving up five goals on 36 shots (.861) and whether he was solid or not, he is most likely not getting the start on Friday. That should go to David Rittich due to the back to back scenario.
The disciplined Flames of this series and most of the Winnipeg series left the bubble as they were paraded to the penalty box throughout the night. Calgary took four penalties and gave up one PPG and that has to be better on Friday.
The PP unit could use a little boost as well. That grouping went 1-4 on the night and when a stingy Dallas team gives you a man advantage you have to be better than that.
Now, Dallas wasn’t all that good either. They took dumb penalties (one led to Bennett’s game tying goal) and their goaltending was less than stellar. They can be had, but the Flames need to come out like they did tonight, scoring early and not letting Dallas settle in with that 2-2-1 defence that just clogs up the neutral zone and doesn’t allow for much of anything offensively.
The wildcard in this game will be David Rittich....if he starts. Rittich hasn’t played in the Winnipeg or Dallas series and his brief appearance against Edmonton in a tune up game wasn’t a masterpiece. His last real action was back on March 9th where he surrendered 4 goals in a 5-3 loss to Vegas.
So be better Flames. Score early. Stay out of the box. Take advantage when the opposition screws up. Do the opposite of what you did on Thursday night and you have a shot to go up 2-1. Also, if the top six could put some points on the board, that would be great. Thanks.
Starting Goalies (E=Expected,C=Confirmed)
Flames: David Rittich (E): 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, .1000 Save%
Stars: Khudobin (E): 1-2-0, 2.62 GAA. .909 Save%
Team Leaders (Post Season)
Flames- Goals: Dube (4) Points: Monahan (6) PIM: Lucic (11) Save%: Talbot (.941)
Stars- Goals: Heiskanen (2) Points: Heiskanen (7) PIM: Perry (9) Save%: Khudobin (.909)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Dallas Stars Coverage: Defending Big D
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 4 - Dallas Stars 5
Players To Watch
Dillon Dube (C): 3 goal in the first two games of the series
Alexander Radulov (D): 2 goals in Game 2