The Calgary Flames came in from three days without a game to play the visiting Dallas Stars. They were pretty decent in the first period, but couldn’t keep up with the Stars in the second period. The Flames spent much of the game chasing en route to a 3-1 loss to close out their homestand.

The Rundown

The first period was a bit herky jerky, with a lot of it played between the bluelines. The teams exchanged power plays but neither side scored. Dallas generated a couple nice scoring chances off a loose puck scramble after they killed off their penalty, but some nice moves by Cam Talbot and some favourable bounces kept the game scoreless.

Shots were 8-8 in the first, but scoring chances were 7-6 Stars.

The Stars opened the scoring early in the second period on a power play, courtesy of Sam Bennett’s team-leading 10th minor of the season. Joe Pavelski drove the net and got a shot off. Cam Talbot sprawled out and made the initial save, but Pavelski got his own rebound to give the Stars a 1-0 advantage.

Shots were 18-6 Stars and scoring chances 9-8 Stars in the second period.

The Stars took a 2-0 lead midway through the third period in a very bizarre sequence. Mark Giordano made a gorgeous play to set up Mikael Backlund with a sure goal. Backlund missed the net and after Giordano toppled over at the offensive blueline trying to play the puck a pair of Stars went the other way on a two-on-one rush. Justin Dowling waited out Cam Talbot and deked around him, burying a quick shot for his first NHL goal.

But Johnny Gaudreau took a high stick in the face and drew a double-minor. On the ensuing power play, Sean Monahan was at the side of the net to deflect in the rebound off an initial Matthew Tkachuk shot to cut the Stars lead to 2-1.

But the Flames couldn’t get closer than that. Pavelski added an empty-netter to ice this one at 3-1.

Why the Flames Lost

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the Flames took an undisciplined penalty early in a period, surrendered a power play goal, and then chased for the remainder of the game. They couldn’t do a ton at even strength to disrupt Dallas’ defensive coverage and, thus, weren’t really able to claw their way back into things.

Red Warrior

Talbot was superb for the Flames. The goals he gave up were a power play rebound and an odd-man rush (with a nice effort from Dowling). He did all he could to hold the Flames in this one.

The Turning Point

With the game 1-0 Stars, Backlund whiffing on a chance on one end was followed by Dowling’s insurance marker at the other end. The Flames got one back on the power play, but this sequence ended up being the game’s difference.

The Numbers

Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.

Monahan 66.7 71.4 1.480
Brodie 60.9 45.5 0.250
Lucic 57.9 60.0 0.200
Gaudreau 57.1 55.6 1.275
Rieder 53.9 50.0 0.100
Bennett 50.0 60.0 0.055
Hamonic 48.5 75.0 -0.125
Mangiapane 47.8 63.6 0.175
Giordano 47.5 75.0 -0.400
Andersson 47.4 50.0 0.300
Ryan 47.1 60.0 -0.070
Hanifin 44.4 57.1 0.075
Lindholm 44.0 71.4 -0.065
Tkachuk 43.5 45.5 0.775
Jankowski 40.0 60.0 -0.090
Frolik 36.4 50.0 -0.300
Stone 36.4 37.5 -0.100
Backlund 35.7 45.5 -0.370
Talbot 1.400

This and That

Up Next

The Flames (10-8-3) practice tomorrow and Friday. Then it’s off to scenic Glendale, Arizona for a Saturday afternoon match with the Arizona Coyotes.

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