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After a gutsy shutout win on Friday night, the Calgary Flames hope to take a big step towards a second round berth on Sunday afternoon when they play Game 4 against the Dallas Stars. The Flames have been the second-best team in two of three games thus far, but key goals and savvy goaltending have given them an edge. Can they put together a strong 60 minutes and give themselves a 3-1 series edge?

The puck drops for Game 4 at noon MT on CBC and Sportsnet’s national feed (with Chris Cuthbert and Louie DeBrusk) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias).

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Mangiapane – Backlund – Rieder
Lucic – Bennett – Dube
Quine – Ryan – Rinaldo

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Andersson
Forbort – Gustafsson

Cam Talbot starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. Matthew Tkachuk will, once again, be a game-time decision. The Flames extras in Game 3 were Mark Jankowski, Byron Froese, Buddy Robinson, Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone, Juuso Valimaki, Alexander Yelesin, Jon Gillies and Artyom Zagidulin.

On one hand, the Flames haven’t gotten a ton offensively out of their top defensive pairing and top forward line at even strength. On the other hand, they’ve been quite good on special teams and their other lines are doing enough to give the Flames enough to win. That might not be able to continue for the entire playoffs, so hopefully the team’s best (and most expensive) players announce their presence before too long.

For what it’s worth, both Mark Giordano and Elias Lindholm noted on Saturday afternoon that their groupings need to play as a more cohesive group of five on the ice rather than spread out and isolate themselves as much as they have thus far. We’ll see if they can make the necessary adjustments.

The Stars

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Benn – Seguin- Radulov
Janmark – Pavelski – Gurianov

Hintz- Dickinson- Perry
Comeau – Faksa – Cogliano

Lindell – Klingberg
Oleksiak – Heiskanen
Sekera – Fedun

After Anton Khudobin played and lost in Game 3, it seems likely that Dallas goes back to Ben Bishop for Game 4. (Rick Bowness will likely not confirm goaltenders, ever.) The projected extras are Nick Caamano, Jason Robertson, Justin Dowling, Joel Hanley, Gavin Bayreuther, Thomas Harley, Ty Dellandrea, Joel Kirivanta, Landon Bow and Jake Oettinger. Stephen Johns remains unfit to play.

Dallas had a lot of puck possession in Game 3, but they weren’t able to translate possession into grade-A scoring chances. And when they did, their puck luck was awful. That probably won’t persist, so the Flames will look to bottle things up a bit more effectively defensively (and perhaps play more with the puck themselves).

The Numbers

Flames Stars
Wins 5 2
Adjusted Corsi 47.4% 47.8%*
Power Play 29.2% 10.5%
Penalty Kill 88.9% 79.0%

*- The NHL’s shot data for the Dallas/St. Louis round robin game is hot garbage, so possession stats are only available for the other Dallas games.

Unfit to Play Report

The Flames are without D Travis Hamonic (opted out). F Matthew Tkachuk’s (head/groin/general body trauma) is a game time decision. F Austin Czarnik (family) has left the bubble.

The Stars are without D Stephen Johns (unfit to play).

When Last We Met

This is Game 4 of a playoff series. The Flames were excellent in Game 1, beating Dallas 3-2. The Flames were not particularly excellent in Game 2, losing to Dallas 5-4. (They tied the game after trailing 4-2, but blew the tie with 39.2 seconds left because the hockey gods are cruel.) The Flames won Game 3 2-0 via strong goaltending.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight: