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Flames Win Penalty Filled Playoff Opener, Defeat Dallas 1-0

Calgary scored early in the first and then took it to Dallas the rest of the way.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Dallas Stars at Calgary Flames Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames 1 - Dallas Stars 0

Complete Stats

Scoring

1st: CGY (PPG): 5:01- Lindholm (Tkachuk/Gaudreau)

2nd: None

3rd: None

This game started off like you would hope every playoff game would. There was lots of jump from each team, there were huge hits, fights, you name it. But after five minutes of the first period, there were no more goals. Elias Lindholm would put the Flames up 1-0 on the PP thanks to helpers from Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, but after that goal there was no more offence.

What did take off were the penalty calls. The officiating crew in this one must have thought they were getting paid by the infraction. There were 10 PPO combined tonight, five for each team and that amount of whistles certainly hampered the pace of play. For a good stretch of the first and second period there was little to no flow to the game as each team took turns parading themselves to the penalty box. That’s something that both teams AND the league need to take care of for Game 2. No one is paying good money to watch the officials blow their whistles.

The big blow to the Flames could have been the loss of Rasmus Andersson. At the end of the first period Matthew Tkachuk fought Michael Raffl and as that fight was ending both Ramus Andersson and John Klingberg decided to fight as well, each earning the gate for a game misconduct for their efforts. Thankfully, both teams losing two of their best defencemen didn’t have any affect on the outcome of the game.

It’s time for the Flames to tighten things up for Thursday night, but at the end of the day you have to be happy with this team winning a tight playoff game by the score of 1-0 against a team like Dallas.

Highlights

Elias Lindholm gets the only goal on the night

Final Thoughts

-Thank the PK because without them, who knows how this game ends up. Calgary killed all 5 penalties they took on the night and really didn’t give Dallas much when they were man up.

-Jacob Markstrom was very solid tonight, stopping all 16 shots that came hos way. Most goalies will tell you they don’t like nights like this because they want to see shots to stay fresh. With that said, Markstrom kept everything that came his way out of the net, including three solid chances in the third.

-Calgary might want to look at the tape and start shooting more. There were times tonight that Calgary got a little too cute with the puck instead of just putting one on net and seeing what happened. A minor nitpick for sure, but it’s something to keep an eye on as this series progresses.

-Line ‘em up and hit ‘em seemed to be a good strategy tonight. Calgary took that Darryl Sutter physical play and ramped it up. Any time Dallas had to chase the puck into the corners the Flames were there to let them know they were on the ice. Calgary threw 34 hits compared to Dallas’s 20, which is something the Flames should continue to do in this series. Big heavy and tough to play against and good things will happen.

-As much as the Flames needed to shoot more, Dallas didn’t make it easy. Credit where credit is due, the Stars blocked 14 shots on the ice tonight and really disrupted the Flames play in the slot.

Flame Of The Game

Dallas Stars v Calgary Flames - Game One Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

Elias Lindholm (C): 1 goal, 2 SOG, 1 block, 2 hits, 65% FOW

Next Up?

3/5: Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames, 8 PM MT