Calgary Flames vs Dallas Stars, 8:30 PM MT, Rogers Place, Edmonton AB
Calgary Flames (2) - Dallas Stars (3)
TV: NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, SN - Radio: Sportsnet 960
The Flames season is on life support and the Dallas Stars will look to pull the plug tonight. Dallas took a 3-2 lead in the series with a 2-1 victory on Tuesday afternoon as the Stars played their signature game and shut the Flames down.
Calgary corrected two of their big issues on Tuesday by staying out of the penalty box and cutting down on the number of shots Cam Talbot faced. In Game 4 the Flames were sent to the box seven times on the night, resulting in five straight Dallas PPO. In Game 5 the Flames cut that number down to two and killed both Dallas man up advantages. Shots against were the other concern. Talbot faced 62 shots in Game 4, which is absolutely ridiculous. Tuesday the Flames tightened up their play and Calgary’s #1 keeper only saw 32 shots, which he stopped 30 of, so a win of sorts.
The Flames need to come out like a ball of fire tonight if they’re going to keep this series alive. Calgary needs to score first and set the tempo physically as well. They’ve out hit Dallas in every game of the series and that needs to continue tonight. The Flames offence needs to find a way to get in gear, keep their foot on the pedal and put the Stars on their heels.
The Flames best players need to step up and start carrying this team because they haven’t done that yet this series. Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund and Mark Giordano need to start doing the heavy lifting or this season will be done after 60 minutes of play tonight. It’s all well and good that Sam Bennett, Dillon Dube. Tobias Rieder and Milan Lucic are having nice post season’s. They’re solid role players and therein lies the problem: they are role players. You’re not going to go far in the playoffs with your bottom six leading the way and that’s exactly what is happening to the Flames. The only top player that has been consistent for the Flames has been Cam Talbot and even with his stellar play Calgary has struggled because in their losses they just don’t play up to his level.
Dallas, meanwhile, just needs to keep doing what they are currently doing to advance. Their top players were a little late to the party, but they’ve been carrying Dallas in their last two wins. Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski and John Klingberg have all become point machines and have really hurt the Flames. That grouping has combined for 12 points (four goals) over the last two games and if they continue that type of play Dallas will be well on their way to the second round of the NHL Playoffs.
Starting Goaltenders (E=Expected,C=Confirmed)
Flames: Talbot (E): 5-4-0, 2.17 GAA, .934 Save%
Stars: Khudobin (E): 3-3-0, 2.41 GAA, .917 Save%
Flames- Goals: Bennett (5) Points: Monahan (8) PIM: Lucic (13) Save%: Talbot (.934%)
Stars- Goals: Pavelski (5) Points: Heiskanen (8) PIM: Radulov (10) Save%: Khudobin (.917%)
What’s Happening With The Opposition
Dallas Stars Coverage: Defending Big D
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 1 - Dallas Stars 2
Players To Watch
Mikael Backlund (C): 3 points and 13 SOG in the series so far
Tyler Seguin (C): 3 assists and 6 SOG in last 2 games