DALLAS — Joe Pavelski and the Dallas Stars sprinted in the third quarter. If not, it will likely be their last game of the season.
Milo Heskanen’s go-ahead goal late in the second quarter saw the Stars recover from an early two-goal lead to beat the Calgary Flames 4-2 on Friday night in their first The Western Conference series forced them to a decisive Game 7 victory.
“The message is we have to have a good third. Sometimes we don’t always make good 3-pointers with the lead and we want to try and turn things around,” Pavelski said. “The other night, they were great in the third quarter and we didn’t handle it well enough. Tonight was one of those situations that I think everyone accepted. We took a step in the right direction.
Calgary won 3-1 at home against the Wild Card Stars in Game 5 on Wednesday night when the Pacific Division champions scored all goals in the third quarter.
Instead, the series returns to Saddleback Stadium for a decisive Game 7 on Sunday night.
“A hell of a game. We couldn’t tie the game,” Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said.
Heskanen’s first goal in those playoffs came from a 40-foot field goal with a pile of traffic in front of Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom. Both teams scored twice with 2:28 left in the second quarter.
With their season just around the corner, the Stars didn’t budge in the third quarter.
“We were chasing them instead of sitting down. … That was one of our better third periods of the year, and it was a timely period,” Michael Laffer said.
“That was the best NHL playoff hockey. That was a great game of hockey,” coach Rick Bowness said. “Both teams, both goalkeepers, were great.”
Calgary will host Game 7 for the first time since 2006, when it lost to Anaheim in the first-round series. It was the third straight playoff Game 7 for the Stars — they beat Colorado in the second round of Canada’s NHL bubble two seasons ago, but lost to St. Louis in the second-round series. 2019.
“We have a confident team,” Pavelski said. “Every game is intense, competitive and fun to play.”
Roope Hintz and Raffl also scored for Dallas, with Tyler Seguin scoring an empty goal in the final minute. Jack Ottinger, their 23-year-old goalie who had never made the playoffs before this series, stopped 36 shots.
Mark Strom also had 36 saves.
Calgary tied the game with 8:01 left in the second quarter and Mikael Backlund tied it 1 second later, another inconvenient game in the series. A successful power game when both teams were battling a man for dominance.
That puts the Flames 2-0 in the series to tie Dallas to 2-21 in the series.
The Stars took a 22-2 lead midway through the third quarter when a near-straight shot from Joe Pavelski bounced off Markstrom’s on-line skates.
Backlund’s third goal of the series came from a slap that Oettinger deflected before it bounced off Heiskanen and went into the net. That was about four minutes after Johnny Gaudrow’s beautiful pass to Michael Stone’s easy pass.
“They got two and we climbed back. It was a tight game, but I would say it was tough going 3-2 late in the second quarter,” Flames center Elias Lindholm said. Say. “Obviously we want to win this game, but tomorrow is a new day, Sunday is a game, that’s why we’ve been working hard all year to get home in Game 7.”
Rafael completed a wild run at the net and the Stars were up 2-0 about six minutes into the second quarter.
Joel Kiviranta tried to follow up on his shot, even hitting back after sliding over the net, while Calgary’s two skaters and Mark Strom collapsed on the ice.Defender Christopher Tanev was one of them, trying to push the puck away with his hands before Laver tucked it inside the post
Hintz scored his second goal of the series with 5:08 left in the first quarter, just after Ottinger withstood a barrage of shots on the other end.
Matthew Tkachuk and Gaudreau, both regular-season 100-point and 40-goal scorers, had quick shooting streaks that kept Oettinger scrambling across the crease.
Once the Stars shifted the puck in the other direction, Pavelski provided a return pass to the charging Hintz, who unleashed a quick wrist under Markstrom’s leg.
Tkachuk hit a backhand from his knee early in the first quarter and bounced off the post.
Game 7 History
Calgary went 5-7 in Game 7 but has lost six of its past seven. The Flames’ only 7th win since 1990 came in the first round against Vancouver in 2004 before they advanced to the Stanley Cup final and lost to Tampa Bay in Game 7.
Dallas is 6-8, including a Game 7 victory over Colorado in the second round of the 2020 playoffs, when the Stars went on to reach the Stanley Cup finals in Canada due to the pandemic There was a bubble.
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