The Dallas Stars return home with a chance to take a 2-1 series lead as they take on the Calgary Flames in Game 3 of the first round.
Stars Look to Take Advantage of Home Atmosphere
For the first time since May of 2019, the Stars will have the support of a home crowd in a playoff game. After overcoming the rowdy crowd up in Calgary and splitting Games 1 and 2, Dallas now has the chance to completely swing this series in their own arena.
“Felt good, it’s nice being back in the Texas heat,” Tyler Seguin said. “Reminds me of playoff hockey, when it gets hot and you are still playing hockey, you know you are in the playoffs. It is exciting and I can’t wait to see this place tonight.”
The key for the Stars will be to use the home-ice advantage while not getting overexcited or playing too much to the crowd. They watched Calgary control most of the first period in Game 1 and feed off their crowd and the Stars hope to have the same success on their side tonight.
“It’s details, it’s simplifying,” Seguin said. “It is kind of what you look at the first 10 minutes of Game 1 in Calgary, you knew they would be coming. Sometimes if you have overexcitement, or any nerves or anxiousness, you simplify and you calm down. You listen, you look, you grind your feet, and you do your job.”
With home ice, has come more offense and more success for the Stars during the 2021-22 season. They held a 27-10-4 record at home and scored 27 more goals at the AAC than they did on the road. Will that trend continue?
“I certainly hope so,” Stars head coach Rick Bowness laughed. “We will find out tonight. Keeping guys away from certain guys when you get the last chance, that’s a big part of it. You are at home, you are more confident,”
Along with the offensive success, the Stars have also been better in their own end at home. They allowed far fewer goals on home ice and have also seen young goalie Jake Oettinger shine when he is in the pipes. The 23-year-old Minnesota native has a 21-6-0 record with a .908 save percentage at home. Funny enough, his save percentage on the road is even better at .923. What does this mean? It means that at home, he receives more scoring help, better defense, and is rarely forced to be a hero in order to win a game.
“We always have a philosophy that you get back and work from the inside out,” Bowness said. “You come in, get back to the ‘house’, stop, and then you work from the inside out. You will get some outside shots but we have got to make sure that we’ve got bodies in there and control the rebounds and get pucks out of there. It also helps on your breakouts which helps your offense.”
Flames Scouting Report
Calgary is in a similar boat to Dallas right now. They have won a tight low scoring game and been shut out in another. Coming into Dallas with the series at 1-1, they know they lost their home-ice advantage but are confident that they can get the job done and regain it just as quickly.
“It’s playoff hockey,” Calgary forward Tyler Toffoli said. “It’s not easy to score goals in the first place, let alone playing a team like this who plays extremely defensive. We’ve got to find a way and kind of dig deep. Our goal was to go into Dallas and win two games anyways. It doesn’t really change our mindset, I don’t think. We have to go there and be prepared to play in Game 3 and just try to take control of the series again.”
From morning skate, it does not look like there will be any changes to the Flames lineup in Game 3.
- Jake Oettinger will start in net
- Marian Studenic will return to the lineup and Alexander Radulov will be a healthy scratch
He Said It
“It’s loud,” Seguin said. “It will surprise anyone who thinks Texas is a football town or not a sports city.”
Sam Nestler is a credentialed Dallas Stars contributor for the ‘The Hockey Writers’. Growing up in New Jersey, Sam has been playing hockey since he was 7 years old. Developing a love for writing in college, Sam uses his hockey knowledge to create analyses and articles on every aspect of the game. Sam also hosts his own podcast on Spotify, the “Slapshot Sammy’ podcast, breaking down action across the Stars, the NHL, and college hockey. Check out the podcast here, and give his latest article a read!