After another sluggish start, the Dallas Stars came to life in the second period in route to a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames. The win puts the Stars above .500 for the first time all season, and extends their current point streak to six games and counting.
Joe Pavelski opened the scoring for Dallas in the final seconds of a power play in the second period, crashing the net after being set up by Denis Gurianov. Early in the third, Justin Dowling scored his first career NHL goal after deking out goaltender Cam Talbot. A Calgary native, Dowling got some loud cheers from his friends and family in attendance.
Sean Monahan cut the lead in half when Radek Faksa went to the box for a double minor, but the Flames never managed to get goal number two. Pavelski sealed the victory with an empty net goal, with Dowling’s ending up as the game-winner.
The Stars won’t have much time to rest, as they turn around and play the Vancouver Canucks tomorrow as part of their Canada road trip. Puck drops at 9:00 PM Central.
Ben Bishop was tested way too early when Jamie Oleksiak made an ugly turnover in the defensive zone, but by extending his leg he managed to stop an otherwise open net shot for Andrew Mangiapane. The two teams traded chances until Travis Hamonic took a boarding penalty against Andrew Cogliano. Unfortunately, the Stars only managed a single shot on the power play, as per long standing tradition.
What followed was several minutes of back and forth, with neither team really doing much, save for the occasional flash in the pan. The monotony broke when Joe Pavelski took a slashing penalty on Mangiapane. The Stars easily killed it off and quickly followed up with a flurry of shots right in front of the Flames’ net, though to no avail.
The rest of the period similarly featured very little offense, although Jamie Benn had a nice scoring opportunity off the rush. With just under a minute left on the clock, Alexander Radulov took his contractually obligated stick infraction of the game (hooking on Johnny Gaudreau), sending Calgary back on the power play. The Flames actually managed a couple shots on net, but Bishop stood tall to keep the game scoreless after twenty.
Score: Dallas 0, Calgary 0
Shots: Dallas 8, Calgary 8
After killing off the rest of the Radulov penalty, Benn had another quality chance when his shot rang off the post. Not much later, Sam Bennett got sent to the box for interference against Miro Heiskanen. The Stars’ power play surprisingly looked good from start to finish, when Joe Pavelski forced the puck past Cam Talbot to open up the scoring:
The Stars continued to bring the heat, badly out-shooting the Flames for the remainder of the period. With about two minutes left, Bishop tried to play the puck behind the net and ended up falling down, leaving the Stars’ net completely unattended. Dallas was able to get the puck out of the defensive zone, however, sparing them from potential embarrassment.
That would be it for the middle frame, and despite the multitude of scoring opportunities they generated, the Stars would head back to the locker room only up by a single goal.
Score: Dallas 1, Calgary 0
Shots: Dallas 26, Calgary 14
Tyler Seguin drew a hooking penalty by Mark Giodarno early, putting Dallas up a man with the Flames’ best defender in the box. They failed to capitalize on it, however, as their power play went back to its lackluster self.
A couple minutes later, the Flames had a three-on-one opportunity, but Mikael Backlund missed a wide open net. Then to add further insult to injury, Justin Dowling responded by coasting up the wing and juked-out Talbot, scoring his first NHL goal in his hometown of Calgary:
With 11 minutes left, Radek Faksa took a double minor for a high sticking on Johnny Gaudreau, giving Calgary a chance to mount a comeback. Not even a minute later, Sean Monahan put Calgary on the board thanks to an unfortunate rebound that landed right in his lap.
Fortunately, not only did the Flames fail to score during the second half of the power play, but also failed for the rest of the game. Talbot was pulled for the extra attacker with a couple minutes left, but Pavelski quickly found the empty netter to restore Dallas’ two goal lead. Calgary refused to give up, pulling Talbot yet again, but the Stars’ defense held strong until time expired.
Final Score: Dallas 3, Calgary 1
Final Shots: Dallas 32, Calgary 25