The Calgary Flames bounced back from a Game 2 loss, beating the Dallas Stars by a 2-0 score in Game 3 on Friday night. They’ve taken a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven series.

Here’s a rundown of topics of discussion post-game.

Special teams make a difference

The Flames were a non-entity five-on-five. But man, they continue to be good on their special teams.

On Calgary’s two power plays, they had two shots and no high-danger scoring chances for or against. Dallas had four PPs and generated 10 shots but just two high-danger scoring chances. On those same Dallas PPs, the Flames had three shots, two high-danger chances and their game-winning goal from Mikael Backlund.

Backlund had a fairly simple explanation for the PK’s scoring success, with three shorties so far in seven playoff games.

“We haven’t been cheating,” said Backlund. “We’ve just been playing within our system. And when the chances have been there, we’ve been going for it.”

Calm Talbot

Talbot played his second game in as many nights. After giving up five goals in Game 2 and looking perfectly adequate, he was very, very adequate in Game 3. Heck, interim coach Geoff Ward declared that “he was the difference in the hockey game.”

Nowhere was Talbot’s strong adequacy apparent than in the second period. The Flames expected a Dallas pushback and that’s what they got. Natural Stat Trick recorded 18 scoring chances for Dallas and five high-dangers in the second period.

Talbot noted he was busy, but was able to work around screens and credited the players in front of him for boxing Dallas’ players out to give him a lot of clean looks.

Talbot became just the third Flames goaltender to record more than one playoff shutout during his tenure with the club, following Miikka Kiprusoff and Mike Vernon.

Onto the next one

If we’re being honest with each other, the Flames have played one good game in three against the Stars. But because of timely goal-scoring, good goaltending and Dallas being pretty uninspiring in Game 1, the Flames have a series lead.

“We haven’t played our best this series,” said Tobias Rieder to the media post-game. “We know we can play way better and that’s what we’re trying to do next game.”

Game 4 goes Sunday afternoon with the Flames potentially able to grab a commanding 3-1 series lead. And they could get some reinforcements…