The Dallas Stars dropped a tight Game 1-0 to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night from Calgary.
Game 1 was a huge test for 23-year-old goaltender Jake Oettinger. The kid was starting his first career playoff game and doing so in one of the more hostile environments in the league. However, Oettinger enjoys playing the role of villain and continued to enjoy every moment of his young career on Tuesday.
“It was awesome,” Oettinger said. “It was such a fun atmosphere to play in, and it’s only going to get better.”
Oettinger finished the game with 25 saves on 26 shots. Although he would likely want another crack at the power-play goal from Elias Lindholm in the first period, he made the key saves when called upon and helped slow the game down when he could to allow Dallas the best chance of mounting a comeback and getting back into the contest. Without a doubt, he answered the questions and any doubters and will be their guy going into Game 2.
“He started the year in the minors,” Rick Bowness said. “That’s his first start in a very tough rink, and we’re very happy.”
No Room For the Stars
The Stars created very little offense in Game 1. Finishing with a total of 16 shots and zero goals, they were held quiet throughout the night by a stingy Flames defense. The Stars did have a few quality looks but were unable to convert or turn them into shots on goal on a consistent basis.
“We probably didn’t have the puck enough, but we had our scoring chances,” said John Klingberg. “The power play’s got to be better.”
Speaking of the power play, the unit went 0-5 and was unable to take advantage of opportunity after opportunity to completely flip the script of the game and get right back into it. Not only did the Stars not score with the extra man, they did not look dangerous throughout most of their attempts.
Related: Playoff Series Preview: Dallas Stars vs Calgary Flames
Getting the puck into the zone and setting up continues to be a struggle and was even more difficult once they lost John Klingberg to a game misconduct following the first period.
“It’s playoff hockey, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” said Michael Raffl who fought Matthew Thachuk just before Klingberg dropped the gloves with Rasmus Andersson. “It maybe gets the boys going, maybe gets you into the game a little bit.”
Klingberg & Andersson Ejected
Game 1 brought with it some immediate playoff intensity. These two teams battled for six games in the 2020 bubble and do not like each other very much and it showed. The first period was very physical and ended with a massive hit by Tkachuk on Klingberg behind the net.
Raffl responded by knocking down Tkachuk and the two dropped the gloves in a heated bout. Just as their fight ended, Klingberg and Andersson went at it and Klingberg’s jersey was pulled up over his head before the two hit the ice. Because the fight occurred after the first one had started, both players were handed five-minute major penalties and game misconducts.
“I didn’t know that rule actually,” Klingberg said. “If I would have known that, it probably would not have happened.”
The most intriguing part of this whole situation is the reaction from Klingberg after the game explaining why he chose to fight Andersson.
“I mean, I am not saying I am a tough guy, but he is acting tougher than he is,” Klingberg said. “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.”
Game 2 will come in Calgary on Thursday, May 5.
He Said It
“We’re here to win,” Bowness said. “We’re not here to be somebody else’s steppingstone. We’re here to win.”
Sam’s Three Stars
- Third Star: Jake Oettinger, DAL (25 saves on 26 shots)
- Second Star: Johnny Gaudreau, CGY (1 assist)
- First Star: Elias Lindholm, CGY (1 goal)