Dallas Stars Playoff Game Day: Game 2 @ Calgary Flames

The Dallas Stars look to bounce back and even the series in Game 2 on Thursday night in Calgary. 

Stars Need to Find Their Offense 

The Stars were shut out in Game 1 and only recorded 16 total shots despite having five power plays. However, they did miss the net quite a bit and had a few golden chances to tie the game. In Game 2, they will need to find a way to produce those chances on a more consistent basis, and of course, finish a couple of them. 

“5 on 5 defensively we were very good, 5 on 5 offensively, there are things we need to do better obviously,” said Stars head coach Rick Bowness. “We can hang onto pucks more, we can use open ice more, and we can certainly put more pucks towards the net. There’s open ice that we have to utilize better. If we do that, we will make more plays.”

On the flip side, they also held Calgary to only 26 shots and one goal that came on a power play right off a faceoff. Although they lost the first game, this series feels very much on. 

“They thought they were going to run us out of the rink, and they didn’t,” Bowness said. “We put up a good fight.”

Stars’ Power Play Will Be Key 

Special teams were a huge part of Game 1 between these two teams as both had five chances with their power plays. The Flames scored on their first chance but were stopped on all others including a brief 5 on 3. Dallas, on the other hand, never really got going, finishing 0-5 and only recording six total shots. The biggest issue remains their zone entries, which haunted them throughout the final months of the regular season, and they hope that having John Klingberg back in Game 2 will be a big boost.  

John Klingberg Dallas Stars-Dallas Stars Playoff Game Day: Game 2 @ Calgary Flames
John Klingberg, Dallas Stars (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“You want your power play to give you some momentum, whether you score or not,” Bowness said. “Their penalty killers gave that team momentum. We had a long meeting with the power play about ‘where is the open ice? There is the open ice,’ and we have to utilize that more.”

Stars Looking to Even the Series 

Game 1 was a physical battle. It featured 86 penalty minutes, two fights,  and a plethora of big body checks. Neither side backed down and both wanted to assert themselves early on. Calgary got the best in the end with a 1-0 victory but for the Stars, they learned a lot and gained confidence in their ability to play with this talented Flames club.

“You can’t get too high or too low in the playoffs here,” Oettinger said. “I think we feel that we didn’t play our best game and we lost 1-0, so I think we should feel confident about that. I know the guys are going to respond and play even better the next game.”

Related: 3 Takeaways From Stars Game 1 Loss to the Calgary Flames

While teams that win Game 1 have nearly a 70% of winning the series, that number goes up above 86% when leading 2-0. That means the Stars need to scratch and claw and do everything they can to return home on Saturday night in a 1-1 series and a chance to take the lead. One positive boost for Dallas, the Calgary Flames are currently on an 11-game losing streak in Game 2 of the postseason dating all the way back to 2004. 

“If their goalie is handling the puck too much, they are going to break out,” Bowness said on trying to establish a forecheck against Calgary. “And he was handling the puck way too much [in Game 1]. We have to do a better job keeping the puck away from the goalie.”

Flames Scouting Report

The Flames are happy with a 1-0 series lead. They knew it was a tight game and they expected that heading in, despite the seeding. 

“I think it was an emotional game, a tight-checking game, but it’s just one game,” Calgary forward Blake Coleman said. “I said it going into the playoffs, it’s going to be a marathon, not a sprint. We have to find ways to learn from our mistakes in these games and then find ways to build on things we did well and obviously that will be what we work on tomorrow. I’m sure the staff will have us prepared and ready to go for Game 2.

Like Dallas, Calgary feels that they can play a much better game overall. Neither team really dominated play and they will both look to take what they learned on Tuesday and find control in Game 2. A big part of that will be getting their top lines going.

“It’s always nice to help the team that way, but overall from our side, I think we can play better,” Elias Lindholm said. “Our line (Lindholm, Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau), there was not much going on out there. It was a tight game. Both teams played good defensively. There wasn’t a lot going on out there, but we found a way.”

Lineup Updates

  • Jake Oettinger will start in net for the second straight game. He made 25 saves on 26 shots in Game 1.

He Said It 

“I mean, I am not saying I am a tough guy, but he is acting tougher than he is,” John Klingberg said of Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson. “He is the one guy in the scrum that doesn’t have a guy and he is standing there shaking his gloves like he wants to go against me, probably the least fighter on our team on the ice there. I want to go and he is just standing there, then all of the sudden, he drops the gloves. He is acting a little tougher than he is, we’re going to go after him.” 

Projected Lines 

  • Robertson-Hintz-Pavelski
  • Raffl-Benn-Gurianov 
  • Namestnikov-Seguin-Glendening
  • Kiviranta-Faksa-Radulov
  • Suter-Heiskanen
  • Lindell-Klingberg
  • Hanley-Hakanpaa
  • Oettinger
  • Wedgewood
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