NHL Hockey

2
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Calgary 0 2 0 2
Dallas 1 2 1 4
4
Series tied 3-3
Three Stars
1: Jake Oettinger, Dal (36 Saves)
2: Jacob Markstrom, Cgy (36 Saves)
3: Miro Heiskanen, Dal (1G)
6:30 PM PT7:30 PM MT8:30 PM CT9:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST5:30 UAE (+1)21:30 ET22:30 BRT, May 13, 2022
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas  Attendance: 18,532

Flames look for new gear, try to clinch in Dallas

Calgary Flames at Dallas Stars

  1. There have been only 18 goals scored through the first five games of this series, an average of 3.60 goals per game. (Four of the 18 goals were empty-net goals.) Every other first-round series in this year's playoffs has averaged more than six goals per game.
  2. The Flames are 9-4 in best-of-seven playoff series in which they led, three-games-to-two, but they're only 4-4 in such series since 1994. The Stars won only three of the 19 previous series in which they trailed 3-2, beating the Kings in 1968, Canadiens in 1980 and Avs in 1999.
  3. Jake Oettinger (.956) and Jacob Markstrom (.952) rank one-two in save percentage in this year's playoffs, with each goaltender starting all five games in this series. Oettinger's save percentage is the highest ever by a Stars goalie in his first five starts of a playoff year, and the same is true for Markstrom and Flames goaltenders.
  4. Elias Lindholm leads the Flames with three goals in the first five games of this series. Entering this series, Lindholm had only one goal in his 25 career games against the Stars (one in 19 regular-season games, none in six games in the 2020 playoffs).
  5. Mikael Backlund scored one goal in each of the last two games. It's the first time Backlund has scored a goal in each of two consecutive playoff games in his NHL career. Backlund scored 12 goals while playing in all 82 games for the Flames this season but he scored in consecutive games only once (Jan. 26-27, at Columbus and St. Louis).
  6. Joe Pavelski has scored 16 goals in 32 playoff games for the Stars (13 in 27 games in 2020, three in five games this year). His average of 0.50 goals per postseason game is the highest in Stars history among players who have appeared in at least 30 playoff games for the club.
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The Calgary Flames have every right to feel positive vibes following a comeback victory and Friday night can clinch their Western Conference opening-round series against the Stars by winning Game 6 in Dallas.

The Flames scored three third-period goals in Game 5 Wednesday, rallying from down 1-0 for a 3-1 victory at home.

But as the Flames carry a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, Calgary coach Darryl Sutter provided a very pointed message.

"(Winning) Game 3 is a lot tougher than winning Game 2, and a lot of our players have never won a Game 3," Sutter said. "And (winning) Game 4 will be a lot tougher than Game 3."

As Pacific Division champions the Flames were the deserved favorites entering the series but have been given all they can handle by a Stars team that didn't clinch a spot until they claimed a wild-card berth with one regular-season game remaining.

Maybe -- and it's a big maybe -- the Flames have finally cracked the code to solving Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (who has a sparkling 1.63 goals-against average and .956 save percentage in the series) and/or the Stars have run out of whatever magic has kept them in a series in which they've been continually outplayed.

More likely, though, the Flames must find yet another gear to reach the second round.

"Building off that third period -- playing our game, playing with confidence and not deviating from our system," Flames forward Andrew Mangiapane said when asked what his team needed to do in Dallas. "We're a good team when all lines are going, all three (defense) pairs. Just got to keep grinding them down and sticking to the system."

The Stars certainly have had their troubles in the series, even though they have two wins. Calgary holds a 182-127 edge in shots and by every advanced statistic has been the better squad. In the last two games -- both Calgary victories -- the Flames were the better team in the third period and broke open tight clashes.

In the third period of Game 5, Dallas managed only five shots on goal Wednesday night, yet had a golden chance with a late power play while it was still a 2-1 score. They failed to even put a single puck on net during the man advantage.

"They took it to another level, and we didn't," Stars coach Rick Bowness said. "We didn't handle it very well. We stayed with them for two periods, obviously. They just cranked it up in the third period and we didn't handle the puck well to give us an opportunity to spend time in their zone."

Yet, the Stars know with a strong effort in Big D, they can push the series back to Calgary for a deciding Game 7 on Sunday.

"We've always been a good home team this year," forward Jason Robertson said. "It's unfortunate that we lose (Wednesday's) game in the third period, but there are some positives to build off and we'll have to use those for next game."

One of those positives would be Robertson's goal in that loss, his first of the playoffs after a career-high 41-goal regular season.

"At this point of the year, I'm just excited that we're scoring goals," Robertson said. "I want to produce offense, and it's nice when I get to do that, but at the end of the day, it wasn't enough. There's not much to be happy about."

--Field Level Media

Updated May 13, 2022

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