The NHL is set up with another great day of action on Tuesday. Four games will be up on the board throughout August 18. One of these games will be between the Calgary Flames and the Dallas Stars. These two teams have played an exciting series so far and it should continue in Game 5. The puck will drop for this matchup at around 5:30 PM Eastern time.
The Flames finished out the regular season with a record of 36-27-7, which put the in eighth place of the Western Conference. Calgary met up with the Winnipeg Jets in the Qualifying round, knocking them out in four games. The Flames are now in a tight series with the Stars, who they will look to earn a leg up on with a win in this pivotal Game 5.
Dallas finished out the regular season with a record of 37-24-8, which earned them the fourth spot in the Western Conference. The Stars went 1-2 throughout their round robin play, which bumped them up to the third spot in the West. Dallas is coming off a nice win to tie this series back up and will look to take their first series lead with a win on Tuesday night.
These two teams have gone back and forth in this series so far, which should lead to an exciting Game 5. The winner of this one will push the other team to the brink of elimination, which will lead to a lot intensity in this one. I expect both teams to pick up where they left off in Game 4 with a high level of speed and play.
The first game of this series was back on August 11. 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 then gave Calgary the lead back with a snipe late in the second. Cam Talbot stopped 24 of 26 shots as the Flames won 3-2 to open up the series.
Game 2 of this series was on August 13. Dillon Dube opened up the scoring once again for the Flames in the first. Miro Heiskanen scored twice for the Stars as Dallas jumped out to a 4-2 lead. Calgary battled back, but ultimately fell short. Corey Perry and Alexander Radulov both had a goal and an assist as the Stars were able to tie up the series with a 5-4 win.
Game 3 was a much quieter game on August 14. Mikael Backlund opened up the scoring with a shorthanded goal in the second. T.J. Brodie scored another one in the third to help the Flames earn the win. Anton Khudobin stopped 21 of 23 shots, but it was not enough. Cam Talbot earned a 35 shot shutout to give Calgary a nice 2-0 win to take the series lead back.
Game 4 of this series was back on August 16. Sam Bennett had a huge night, scoring two goals and adding an assist. Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist, but it was not enough. Joe Pavelski scored a hat trick, including the game tying goal with 11 seconds on the clock. John Klingberg added up three assists, while Tyler Seguin had two assists to give the Stars a 5-4 win in overtime.
The Flames had a solid special team unit throughout the regular season. Calgary earned a power play percentage of 21.2 percent, while killing off 82.1 percent of the penalties against them. In the playoffs, the Flames have posted a 32.1 percent success rate on the power play. Calgary has also killed off 85.3 percent of the penalties against them in the postseason.
Dallas was around the league average on special teams throughout the regular season. The Stars posted a power play of 21.1 percent and a 79.7 percent penalty kill rate. Dallas has struggled even more in the playoffs this season. The Stars have capitalized on 15.4 percent of their power play opportunities, while earning a 73.9 percent kill rate.
Calgary has earned a nice edge on special teams in this series. The Flames have been executing on both the power play and penalty kill in this series, scoring a shorthanded goal in Game 4. If Calgary can maintain this edge on special teams, it could be too much for the Stars to keep up with. I expect Dallas to try and get their power play going though to keep up with the Flames.
Cam Talbot will get the start in net for the Flames in Game 5 of this series. Talbot finished out the regular season with a record of 12-10-1. He posted a .919 save percentage and a GAA of 2.63 throughout those starts. In the playoffs Talbot has stepped up his game even more. He has put up a save percentage of .933 and a 2.19 GAA.
I expect Anton Khudobin to start in crease for Dallas in this matchup. Khudobin earned a record of 16-8-4 throughout the regular season. He earned a save percentage of .930 and a 2.22 GAA. Khudobin has started in five of the Stars playoff games so far. He has put up a .907 save percentage and a GAA of 2.68 throughout those games.
The Stars will look for Khudobin to keep up his play in this one, as Ben Bishop will likely continue to be “unfit to play”. Cam Talbot has looked almost unbeatable at times throughout these playoffs, which could help Calgary make an unlikely run. Talbot faced 62 shots in Game 4’s loss. If the Flames can keep the offensive pressure off of him, it will give them a good chance to earn the win.
These two teams are in a 2-2 series tie coming into this matchup, which should lead to a great game in Game 4. Dallas is coming off a huge overtime win in the last game, while the Flames are looking to take another series lead. Calgary has been the better team overall in this series in my opinion, but if the Stars can keep up that offensive pressure, it could be dangerous for the Flames.
BetOnline has Dallas listed as a -121 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Stars will win this game around 54.8 percent of the time. I believe that this line has a lot of value. I like Dallas in this matchup to finally take their first lead of the series. The Stars are coming off a dominant performance in Game 4 and I believe they keep it rolling into Game 5.