After a heroic comeback to tie the series up 2-2 in Game 4, the Dallas Stars are now leading the Calgary Flames for the first time all series after a 2-1 win in Game 5.
As with the past few games, the Stars outplayed the Flames, outshooting the Flames by a healthy margin for a majority of the game. For the second game in a row, Dallas scored first(!) thanks to a lovely pass from Tyler Seguin to Jamie Benn, who proceeded to enter the net along with the puck.
Mikael Backlund tied it up in the dying minutes of the first, but John Klingberg retook the lead for Dallas early in the third with a shot eerily similar to his game-winning assist in Game 4. Dallas then bunkered down and prevented Calgary from sending it to overtime, even though they earned a power play with 23 seconds remaining.
The Dallas Stars are now up 3-2 on the Calgary Flames, and only need one more win to advance to Round 2. The two teams square off for potentially the last time on Thursday, time to be determined.
Dallas carried their momentum from Game 4 into Game 5, heavily outshooting Calgary to start the game. Unfortunately, said momentum also meant Jamie Oleksiak took a penalty just five minutes in, but thankfully the Stars’ penalty kill didn’t have any trouble killing it off.
The Stars briefly went on their own power play when Rasmus Andersson went to the box for hooking, but then Alexander Radulov almost immediately took an interference call of his own, giving us some 4-on-4 action. The second Andersson exited the penalty box, Jamie Benn scored what was technically a short-handed goal while literally crashing the net:
Benn takes himself and the puck into the net to score a shorthanded goal.— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) August 18, 2020
DAL 1 - 0 CGY // P1 pic.twitter.com/ZcJgFRv13d
The Stars soon took a third penalty, this one for too many men, putting the Flames back on the power play. Mark Giordano got close to scoring, but the puck instead hit the crossbar so hard it flew out of the offensive zone. The Stars killed the rest of the penalty and continued to shut down the Flames, but Mikael Backlund got one through with less than a minute left:
consider the needle threaded pic.twitter.com/nLNtm76R58— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) August 18, 2020
Thus, despite heavily outplaying Calgary the first period, Dallas headed to the locker room tied after one.
Score: Dallas 1, Calgary 1
Shots: Dallas 14, Calgary 7
After a first period full of penalties, the officials seemingly left their whistles in the locker room, with several potential calls going without a whistle in the opening minutes of the second. There was a brief spell where the Flames flipped the script and were outgunning the Stars, but otherwise Dallas continued their monopoly on offensive chances.
Those opportunities only lasted so long, however, as shots started to dwindle toward the end of the period. However, arguably the best chance of the second came within the final 30 seconds when Dallas had a 2-on-1 rush against Calgary. Andrew Cogliano elected to pass it back to a third player, Miro Heiskanen, who unfortunately couldn’t get the puck past Cam Talbot.
That was it for a rather uneventful second period, with the teams still tied up after 40 minutes.
Score: Dallas 1, Calgary 1
Shots: Dallas 26, Calgary 14
The final frame began with a goal by John Klingberg from the point, putting Dallas back in the lead just over a minute in:
John Klingberg, 2-1 #GoStars pic.twitter.com/EGWGSOu1Cq— SportsDay Stars (@dmn_stars) August 18, 2020
As if on cue, the Stars’ offense dried up again as they attempted to shut down the Flames, although they briefly picked it back up again around the halfway mark. That attempt was met with mixed results, as they gave Calgary a few quality chances, including a bomb from Elias Lindholm that Anton Khudobin was luckily able to deflect out of play with his stick.
With five minutes left in regulation, Jamie Benn got a brief one-on-none opportunity against Talbot. He remained patient with the puck instead of shooting right away, which led to Giordano desperately sliding down for a shot block and knocking the net off its moorings, resulting in a delay-of-game penalty.
Dallas failed to extend their lead with the man-advantage, but it ultimately did not matter. The Flames pulled Talbot with a little more than a minute to go, and despite a late slashing call on Cogliano which gave them 23 seconds of 6-on-4, they couldn’t get another past Khudobin.
And just like that, the Stars took their first lead of the series, with only one more win needed to seal the deal.
Final Score: Dallas 2, Calgary 1
Final Shots: Dallas 32, Calgary 29