The NHL’s first round of the playoffs is underway with every team playing Game 1 of their series. Four games will be up on the board throughout August 13. One of these matchups will be between the Calgary Flames and the Dallas Stars. These two teams played a tight Game 1. The puck will drop for this game at around 10:30 PM Eastern time.
The Flames finished out the regular season with a record of 36-27-7, which had them in eighth place of the Western Conference. Calgary met up with the Winnipeg Jets in the Qualifying round and were able to knock them off in four games. The Flames are now up 1-0 in this series and will look to pad that lead with a win in Game 2.
Dallas earned a record of 37-24-8 through the regular season, which had them earn the fourth seed in the Western Conference. The Stars went 1-2 throughout round robin play, which earned them the third seed in the West. Dallas lost the first game of this series, but will look to tie it up in this one. The Stars will look to find a way to get their offense going to tie the series up.
These two teams met in a tight Game 1 on Tuesday night, which should lead to another exciting game on Thursday night. Dallas kept it close, but it was the Flames who dominated most of the game and came out with the win. Calgary is coming off an impressive series win over the Jets, while the Stars struggled throughout the round robin. Dallas will look to get more comfortable in Game 2 of their first round series.
These two teams met up three times throughout the regular season. The first game was in Dallas on October 10. Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin broke through in the third period to erase a 2-0 lead for the Stars. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan scored in the shootout to give the Flames a 3-2 win. David Rittich stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced in Calgary’s win.
The second matchup between these two teams shifted to Calgary on November 13. Joe Pavelski scored twice, while Justin Dowling added a third for the Stars. Ben Bishop turned away 24 of the 25 shots he saw to help propel Dallas to an impressive 3-1 win.
The third game of the season series move back to Dallas on December 22. Elias Lindholm tallied up three assists, while Matthew Tkachuk scored a goal and added two assists. Sean Monahan and Derek Ryan both had a goal and an assist in the Flames win. David Rittich stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced in a 5-1 win for the Flames.
The first game of this series was a good one. Dillon Dube scored twice in the first period to give the Flames a 2-0 lead. Denis Gurianov and Jamie Benn tied it up with goals nine seconds apart in the second period. Rasmus Andersson scored the eventual game winner tough for the Flames. Cam Talbot stopped 24 of 26 shots to propel Calgary to the 3-2 win.
Calgary earned strong special team numbers throughout the regular season. The Flames scored on 21.2 percent of their power play chances, while stopping opposing teams on 82.1 percent of their power play opportunities. In the playoffs, the Flames have capitalized on 33.3 percent of their power play attempts. Calgary has also killed off 89.5 percent of the penalties against them in the postseason.
The Stars had solid special teams play in the regular season. Dallas was able to capitalize on 21.1 percent of their power play chances, while killing off 79.7 percent of the penalties against them. The Stars have struggled heavily on special teams throughout the playoffs. Dallas have gone 1-11 on the power play and have killed off 76.9 percent of the power plays they have faced.
The Flames power play has done really well, but I do not expect those numbers to keep up forever. Dallas has struggled on the power play, but I expect them to step it up in this series as well. The Stars do not give up a lot of power play chances, which could stump Calgary in Game 2. If Dallas can bounce back on special teams, it could give them an advantage in this game.
Cam Talbot will get the start in the crease for the Flames in Game 2. Talbot earned a record of 12-10-1 throughout the regular season. He put up a save percentage of .919 and a 2.63 GAA. In the playoffs, Talbot has earned a .941 save percentage and a GAA of 1.61. If Talbot can keep this up, it should keep the Flames moving forward in the playoffs.
Ben Bishop will get the nod in net for Dallas in this matchup. Bishop finished out the regular season with a record of 21-16-4. He posted a .920 save percentage and a GAA of 2.50. Bishop sat out Game 1 of this series with an injury, but should be good to go for this one. Bishop only had one start in the round robin, allowing four goals on 32 shots in a losing effort.
Talbot has been outperforming expectation for the Flames, but I do not believe he will be able to keep up doing this well. If Dallas can beat him early, I believe that they will have a good chance to put up a strong night. Bishop had to watch as his team lost in Game 1 and I expect him to come out in Game 2 on a mission.
Game 1 was a solid win for Calgary, but I believe that the Stars will bounce back in Game 2 of this series. The Flames have had superb goaltending and power play, but I do not think these numbers will keep up. Dallas was a strong team throughout the regular season, and I expect them to bounce back in this series. The Stars have not found their game consistently yet, but I think Game 2 will be a good chance for them to get some rhythm.
BetOnline has Calgary listed as a -106 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Flames will win this game around 51.5 percent of the time. This line is very close to even with a slight edge going to the Flames. Dallas will look for Bishop to help them bounce back in this one. If the Stars can get some offense going early, I really like the Stars chances to tie up this series.