The Calgary Flames came into Game 2 of their series with Dallas with a chance to put a stranglehold on the Stars with a strong 60 minutes. A strong 60 minutes is not what they delivered, but they pushed in the third period and managed to make a game of it. But Dallas created a late goal to win 5-4 in Game 2.

Its the 11th consecutive loss for the Flames in Game 2 of a playoff series dating back to 2006.

The Rundown

The Flames got on the board early, as 19 seconds into the game they got a lead. TJ Brodie’s point shot off a face-off win went wide, but it rebounded out to the slot and Dillon Dube jumped on the rebound (and beat Ben Bishop) to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.

But the lead didn’t last too long. Just 2:23 later, the Stars managed to get their top line out against the Flames’ fourth line and third defensive pairing. They cycled the puck, scrambled around the net, and Alexander Radulov jammed a rebound past Cam Talbot to tie things up at 1-1.

The Stars took the lead midway through the period. Brodie pinched to hold a loose puck in the Dallas zone. It blooped past him and Radulov and Miro Heiskanen went into the Calgary zone. Mark Giordano took out Radulov, but Mikael Backlund couldn’t catch up to Heiskanen and he beat Talbot off the rush to give Dallas a 2-1 lead.

Shots were 14-7 Stars and scoring chances 7-3 Stars in the opening period.

The Flames killed of an early Sam Bennett penalty in the second period, but Heiskanen flung the puck at the net from the side boards and it found a hole between Talbot and short-side post, giving Dallas a 3-1 lead.

Midway through the second, though, the Flames managed to get one back on a weird play. Sean Monahan lost his helmet and headed to the bench. The puck went to Derek Forbort at the point, he held it in, and he chucked the puck at the net. It fluttered past Bishop to cut the Dallas lead to 3-2.

But Giordano took a penalty on the very next shift. 44 seconds into the resulting power play, Corey Perry jammed in a rebound to make it 4-2 Dallas.

Shots were 15-8 Stars and scoring chances 5-1 Stars in the second period.

A scramble in front of the Dallas net early in the third period ended up with Andrew Mangiapane redirecting the puck into the Stars net while being hauled down by Heiskanen. The goal was washed out due to the feeling among the officials that he had kicked the puck in.

The Flames got a four minute power play out of the situation, but generated three shots and no dangerous chances.

But the Flames got one back in familiar fashion: with Giordano in the box (again), Tobias Rieder jumped on a bobbled Dallas pass in the neutral zone and rushed into the Stars zone, beating Bishop for a shorthanded goal to cut the Dallas lead to 4-3.

The Flames kept pushing, and on a late power play Sam Bennett redirected an Elias Lindholm slap-pass past Bishop to tie the game at 4-4.

But with 39.2 seconds remaining, Dallas took the lead back. The Flames made a bad line change and Jamie Oleksiak read the play well, jumping into the zone and burying a Perry pass to make it 5-4 Stars.

Shots were 11-7 Flames and scoring chances 4-3 Stars in the third period.

Why the Flames Lost

The Flames were disjointed and not cohesive for much of the game. But they pushed in the third period and, missing their best player in Tkachuk, they managed to find enough gas in the tank for a push. It gave them a fighting chance.

But the devil is in the details, and the Flames’ details just weren’t good enough late to drag this game to overtime.

Red Warrior

Bennett. He was feisty and dangerous all game.

The Turning Point

Rieder’s shorthanded goal gave the Flames signs of life. Giordano hustled to draw a penalty on Radulov. Bennett’s smart redirect tied things up. But Oleksiak’s goal with 39.2 seconds left was (obviously) a back-breaker.

The Numbers

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

Lucic 77.8 44.4 0.620
Dube 65.0 57.1 1.200
Rieder 58.8 71.4 1.025
Ryan 57.1 100 0.015
Bennett 55.0 50.0 1.225
Jankowski 53.9 100 0.025
Gustafsson 48.2 55.6 -0.125
Giordano 48.2 47.1 0.500
Brodie 45.8 43.8 1.075
Hanifin 45.0 55.6 0.100
Gaudreau 43.8 45.5 0.750
Forbort 43.3 55.6 0.875
Andersson 39.1 55.6 -0.300
Backlund 37.9 53.9 -0.290
Lindholm 37.5 12.5 0.690
Mangiapane 35.7 53.9 -0.785
Monahan 31.3 35.7 -0.440
Tkachuk 22.7 75.0 -0.750
Talbot -0.650

This and That

Tkachuk missed considerable time in the first and third periods due to run-ins with Dallas players.

Up Next

This best-of-seven first round series is tied 1-1. Game 3 goes Friday evening in Edmonton. Puck drop is just after 8:30 p.m. MT on CBC and Sportsnet.