The Dallas Stars came into tonight’s game with something to prove. After a series of disappointing appearances in the Round Robin, they dropped the first game in the series to the Calgary Flames in a 3-2 decision on Tuesday night.
Luckily, it’s a seven game series and the Stars had the chance to redeem themselves.
The early seconds of this period looked very dire for the Stars when Dillon Dube scored off a rebound from a long shot from the point that ricocheted off the end boards exactly nineteen seconds into the game.
That, by the way, is ten games in a row that the Stars have given up the first goal. In those ten games, they’ve only come back to win once. (And it’s still once.)
Luckily, the Stars didn’t a whole period to equalize tonight. Two minutes after Dube’s goal, Jamie Benn shot from the top of the zone and it didn’t quite make it through the scrum in front of the net. The puck got over to Alexander Radulov, who threw the puck toward the net where it ricocheted in off a Flames player.
The first period had a lot of physicality to it, John Klingberg bearing a lot of the brunt of it. Miro Heiskenan has also been a target, but he’s much harder to catch.
Like nine minutes after Seguin’s goal, when Heiskenan got the breakaway into the Flames zone and beat Cam Talbot glove side.
defenseman scoring on a breakaway alert pic.twitter.com/HIyltG8FHn— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) August 14, 2020
Also at some point in here, Matthew Tkachuk took the blade end of Jamie Benn’s stick somewhere in the middle region and hobbled down the tunnel. The play was chippy and the Stars controled a lot of puck movement, challenged the Flames for the puck, and rarely resorted to dumping the puck in the Flames zone. Controlled zone entry wins games.
With a little over 2 minutes in the period, Andrew Mangipane took a tripping penalty against Denis Gurianov, but the Stars weren’t able to do anything with the advantage.
Score: Dallas 2, Flames 1
Shots: Dallas 14, Flames 7
Important news: Tkachuk was back to start the second period and doubled his ice time in the second period, so clearly he was doing better.
The Stars had an early “oopsie” between Bishop and Jamie Oleksiak that almost ended in an own goal off Oleksiak’s skate but didn’t. The Stars had a big chance on the other end with a breakaway by Mattias Janmark, but Talbot kept it out of the net.
Gurianov drew another penalty, this time interference by Sam Bennett, so Bennett and his glorious beard spent two minutes in the penalty box. Sadly, the Stars were again not able to do anything with the advantage and the power play dropped to 1 for 13 in the post season.
A little under five minutes into the second period, Heiskenan walked to Flames defenders at the blue line and sent the puck around the board behind the net. Klingberg caught it and sent it back and Heiskenan, seeing an open lane, dumped the puck on net at the wildest angle.
Heiskanen fires a prayer towards Talbot and the Stars double their lead.— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) August 14, 2020
DAL 3 - 1 CGY // P2 pic.twitter.com/x3BeVfN0Ur
The Stars extended their lead and Heiskenan set a record as the youngest defenseman (21 years, 26 days) in franchise history to have a two goal playoff game.
It’s hard to overstate how much the Stars controlled the play at the end of the first and the beginning of the second period. In the eight minutes of play before the Heiskenan goal, the Stars outshot the Flames 8-0.
Benn went to the box on a roughing penalty against Elias Lindholm to put the Flames on the power play, but in two minutes they only managed to get one shot off. About a minute later, the Flames scored off an attempt by the Stars to clear the zone after a face off. It absolutely demolished the in net camera but for some reason the refs took about five minutes to decide whether or not it had crossed the goal line.
Stars went on power play, actually scored a power play goal, and went up to 4 goals in one game for the first time since February 25.
In case you’re wondering if this Heiskenan kid is legit:
The Stars have outshot the Flames 15-1 with Heiskanen on the ice.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) August 14, 2020
Jamie Benn made up for his earlier penalty box time by drawing a foul, an interference call on Mark Giordano. The second power play unit spent all of their time down in the Flames zone, eventually culminating in a rebound goal by Corey Perry.
Scorey Perry.— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) August 14, 2020
DAL 4 - 2 CGY // P2 pic.twitter.com/39gAN5iGxw
This is the first time the Stars have scored four goals in one game since February 25. Granted, there was quite a big break in the middle there, but that still encompasses a lot of games.
Score: Dallas 4, Calgary 2
Shots: Dallas 29, Calgary 15
Early in the third period, Ben Bishop made two amazing stops but the Stars couldn’t clear the puck from their zone. Instead, it ended up in the net behind Bishop off of Mangiapane’s skate, which is about when everything went a little sideways.
First, Mangiapane seemed to kick the puck in, but he was also in the process of being bowled over by a Stars defender. TJ Brodie ended up prone on the ice clutching his face, and the Flames lost Tkachuk again.
The kicking motion was highly debatable due to the falling, but since it’s motion and not necessarily intent, the refs called the goal off and the Stars kept their two goal lead.
Tyler Seguin got called on a double minor for the high stick to Brodie’s face, and Tkachuk wobbled off the ice and back down the tunnel to get checked out.
With half the period in the books and a two goal lead, Mattias Janmark drew a hooking penalty, putting the Stars back on the power play. Instead, Klingberg lost the puck at the point and got out skated by Toby Rieder who beat Bishop one-on-one.
Score effects took hold of the Stars in the third period and instead of maintaining the possession and attack they’d had through the first two periods, they went on the defensive and let the Flames control the action.
Which came back to bite them in the end. With under five minutes to go in the game and still a goal ahead, Alexander Radulov took a holding penalty against Mark Giordano. Sam Bennett and his glorious beard tipped the puck in on the power play.
But the Stars, somehow, were not yet defeated. Perry found Jamie Oleksiak, yes that enormous defender, near the net with 30 seconds to go in the game and the Stars pulled ahead after watching their two goal lead die an ignoble death in the third period.
Score: Dallas 5, Calgary 4
Shots: Dallas 36, Calgary 26
The next game is tomorrow (tonight?) at 9:30 pm CT.