Game 4, Round 1: Calgary Flames vs Dallas Stars - Dallas Leads Series 2-1
Tonight At 7:30 PM MT @ American Airlines Center
Dallas Stars 21-22 Regular Season Record: 45-30-7 - (98 Points - Finished 4th in the Central Division - First Wildcard spot)
Calgary Flames 21-22 Regular Season Record: 50-21-11 (111 Points - Finished 1st in the Pacific Division)
Broadcast Info: TV - CBC, Sportsnet, TBS / Radio - Sportsnet 960
It’s Gameday for the Flames as they take on the Stars in Game 4 of their first-round matchup. This is quite possibly the biggest game for the Flames in recent history as, if they lose this game they’ll be down in the series 3-1. Not something the team wants especially after how the last couple of playoff series have gone. Not only that, if they lose the biggest offseason for the Flames is on the horizon… Guys like Gaudreau, Tkachuk, Mangiapane, and Kylington all need new contracts. So in order to extend that wait into another huge offseason, the Flames NEED to walk out of Dallas with a win. It’s only 2-1 but with the potential of this series imploding for the Flames, there’s no room for error in tonight’s game.
Game 3 was much better than Game 2, but not nearly enough to take down Dallas. Somewhat surprisingly, this team is still having issues with shooting and sending traffic to the net. An issue that is giving Jake Oettinger some easy saves and padding his stats a little. I laid it out in the last preview and some of the stuff I said still applies to tonight’s game.
The Flames can’t feed into what Dallas wants them to do. For example at the start of Game 3, Matthew Tkachuk fighting with John Klingberg. Dallas wants Matthew Tkachuk to do that because it means the Flames will be without him for 5 minutes in the game. The Stars are also clogging up lanes and making life miserable for the Flames offence. The plan of attack needs to be to throw Dallas off their game by dumping it in and having some of the top guys retrieve pucks. The Flames usual system doesn’t really work against the Stars clogging up the zone. Dump and chase is one of my least favourite plays in the game of hockey but to take down this defence it’ll be a more efficient way.
The Flames need to make the Stars play their game and not the opposite. Jacob Markstrom will be getting the start tonight and he’s really been the only positive for the team in this series. The Vezina Trophy candidate has played very consistently but hasn’t gotten the run support from the team ahead of him. The Flames need to get things going tonight in order to make this a series and not go down by 2 games.
Last Time Around
Game 1: Flames 1-0 Stars
Game 2: Stars 2-0 Flames
Game 3: Stars 4-2 Flames
Betting Odds Via Betway
To win the game:
Flames: -165 (Favourites)
Stars: +240 (Underdogs)
Players To Watch
Jacob Markstrom. The Flames MVP in this series has been phenomenal. In the 3 games played so far, he has a .942 SV% and a 1.36 GAA. The team needs to play better in front of him and not let-up tonight. Looking forward to watching Marky again tonight.
Joe Pavelski. The Veteran for this Stars team proved on Saturday that he’s still a problem even at 37. Two goals in Game 3 and the game-winning goal in Game 2. The Flames need to shut down him and his linemates if they want any chance at getting back into this series.
We’re in store for another intense game in Big D and a game that is already shaping up to be a must-win. Go Flames Go!