Joe Pavelski and the Dallas Stars had been skating with urgency within the third interval. If not, it may simply have been their final one of many season.
Miro Heiskanen scored the go-ahead aim late within the second interval and the Stars recovered after blowing an early two-goal lead, beating the Calgary Flames 4-2 on Friday evening to drive a deciding Recreation 7 of their first-round Western Convention collection.
“The message was we’ve received to have a superb third. We haven’t at all times had good thirds at occasions with the lead, and we needed to type of attempt to flip that,” Pavelski stated. “The opposite evening, they got here out laborious within the third and we didn’t deal with it effectively sufficient. And tonight was a kind of conditions the place I feel everybody purchased in. We took a step in the precise course of doing it.”
Calgary was in place to shut out the wild-card Stars after a 3-1 residence win in Recreation 5 on Wednesday evening, when the Pacific Division champions scored all of their targets within the third interval.
This collection as a substitute goes again to the Saddledome for a deciding Recreation 7 on Sunday evening.
“A hell of a recreation. We couldn’t get the equalizer,” a rather-terse Calgary coach Darryl Sutter stated.
The primary aim in these playoffs for Heiskanen got here on a 40-foot shot with a bunch of visitors in entrance of Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom. That got here with 2:28 left within the second interval, wherein each groups scored twice.
With their season on the road, the Stars didn’t give in in the course of the third interval.
“We went after them as a substitute of sitting again. … That was considered one of our higher third durations of the yr, and it was a well timed one,” Michael Raffl stated.
“That was NHL playoff hockey at its finest. That was an awesome hockey recreation,” coach Rick Bowness stated. “Each groups, each goalies, had been nice.”
Calgary will host a Recreation 7 for the primary time since 2006, when it misplaced its first-round collection to Anaheim. That is the third consecutive playoffs that the Stars will play a Recreation 7 — they beat Colorado within the second spherical within the NHL bubble in Canada two seasons in the past, and misplaced at St. Louis in a second-round collection that went the total distance in 2019.
“We’ve got a assured group,” Pavelski stated. “Each recreation’s been tight, been aggressive and enjoyable to play in.”
Roope Hintz and Raffl additionally scored for Dallas, and Tyler Seguin added an empty-netter within the ultimate minute. Jake Oettinger, their 23-year-old goalie who had by no means began a playoff recreation earlier than this collection, stopped 36 photographs.
Markstrom additionally had 36 saves.
Calgary tied the sport at 2 with 8:01 left within the second interval on a aim by Mikael Backlund, which got here 1 second after the tip of what formally went down as one other unsuccessful energy play on this collection when each groups have struggled with a person benefit.
That made the Flames 0 for two on the ability play within the recreation, to match Dallas at 2 for 21 within the collection.
The Stars made it 2 for 22 halfway by the third interval when Joe Pavelski had an virtually point-blank shot that ricocheted off Markstrom’s skate that was on the road.
Backlund’s third aim of the collection got here on a slap shot that Oettinger had deflected earlier than it bounced off Heiskanen and into the online. That was about 4 minutes after Johnny Gaudreau’s nifty crossing cross to Michael Stone for the straightforward tip-in.
“They get two, and we climb again. It’s a decent recreation however I’d say that 3-2 aim late within the second was robust,” Flames heart Elias Lindholm stated. “Clearly, we’d prefer to win this recreation, but it surely’s a brand new day tomorrow and a recreation on Sunday, and that’s why we fought so laborious all yr to have residence ice on Recreation 7.”
The Stars had a 2-0 lead about six minutes into the second interval when Raffl completed off a wild play in entrance of the online.
Joel Kiviranta was making an attempt to observe up his personal shot, even reaching again after skating previous the online, whereas two Calgary skaters and Markstrom all went down on the ice. Defenseman Christopher Tanev was one of many ones down, and tried to push the puck away along with his hand earlier than Raffl was capable of stuff it simply contained in the submit
Hintz received his second aim of the collection with 5:08 left within the first interval, proper after Oettinger withstood a flurry of photographs on the different finish.
Matthew Tkachuk and Gaudreau, each 100-point and 40-goal scorers within the common season, received off fast photographs in succession that had Oettinger scrambling and diving throughout the crease.
As soon as the Stars had the puck going the opposite means, Pavelski had a drop-back cross for the charging Hintz, who despatched a fast wrister underneath the legs of Markstrom.
Tkachuk took a backhander off his knee early within the first interval that ricocheted off the submit.
GAME 7 HISTORY
Calgary is 5-7 in Recreation 7s, however has misplaced six of the final seven it has performed. The one Recreation 7 victory for the Flames since 1990 was within the first spherical towards Vancouver in 2004, earlier than they then superior to the Stanley Cup Last and misplaced to Tampa Bay within the seventh recreation.
Dallas is 6-8, together with a Recreation 7 win over Colorado within the second spherical of the 2020 playoffs, when the Stars went on to make the Stanley Cup Last within the postseason performed in a bubble in Canada due to the pandemic.