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Inside The Game: Dallas Stars

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames


CALGARY -- A three-goal first period from the Dallas Stars ensured the Calgary Flames wouldn't need to bring the brooms out of the closet.

Sparked by three goals in a 5:04 span, the Stars dropped the Flames 4-3 at American Airlines Center on Monday, avoiding a season-series sweep while extending Calgary's road losing streak to seven straight. The last time the club has won on the road was against the Stars on February 17th.

Coming off an 8-1 drubbing at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, the Stars put the Flames down early.

Coming in on an odd-man rush, Erik Cole's centering pass his the skate of defenceman Derek Smith and bounced behind starter Joey MacDonald to take a 1-0 lead at 13:07.

Three minutes later, former Flames forward Eric Nystrom swept the puck behind the Calgary keeper before Loui Eriksson took a cross-slot feed from Ray Whitney and beat MacDonald to give Dallas the 3-0 lead with just 1:49 remaining in the period.

MacDonald gave the Flames a jolt midway through the middle stanza.

With the Stars on the power play after Chris Butler's interference penalty, Cole fed a pass from the goal line across to Brendan Morrow off the far post. MacDonald came across in time to rob the Stars captain.

The save sparked Jiri Hudler, who on the power play two minutes after the save deflected a TJ Brodie point shot from the point behind Kari Lehtonen to cut the lead to two at 11:30. Just 1:55 later, Jay Bouwmeester lifted a backhand from the slot over Lehtonen's blocker for back-to-back power play goals to bring Calgary to within one heading into the third.

With the Flames pressing, Eriksson restored a two-goal lead for Dallas eight minutes into the final frame.

On another fumbled odd-man rush, Jamie Benn's slot pass wobbled onto Eriksson's stick, who managed to lift it over MacDonald at 12:06.

Alex Tanguay, with his ninth of the season, again cut the lead to one after taking Mike Cammalleri's errant pass of the boards and breaking in alone on Lehtonen. Tanguay faked, decked and slid the puck over the goal line with five minutes remaining to make it 4-3.

Though pressing with the net empty in favour of the extra attacker, the Flames couldn't draw even, dropping their first game on their three-game road trip.


Picking an errant pass from Cammalleri off the side boards, Tanguay was able to break in on a partial breakaway, throwing a forehand-to-backhand deke on Lehtonen with just over five minutes remaining in the game to bring the Flames to within one.


Searching for the four goal lead, Cole fed a one-timer to Morrow at the far post, but MacDonald - in full splits - got over in time to make a dazzling glove save to keep Calgary within three.


Lee Stempniak's open-ice hit on Derek Roy sent the Dallas Stars forward sliding into the end boards in Calgary's zone in the final minute of the middle frame.


Eriksson's goal eight minutes into the third period gave the Stars a two-goal cushion they'd need to secure their first win in five games.


"One thing is we can agree that they came hard but we gave four goals, plain and simple. In the game there's goals against, but there's also goals you give and we gave the four goals."

-Bob Hartley


Brodie led all Flames players in power play ice time, logging 4:13 with the man advantage in Dallas.


Defencemen Cory Sarich and Anton Babchuk and forward Steve Begin were scratched for the game. Paul Byron remains on the injured reserve with a broken wrist.

Miikka Kiprusoff also missed the game due to the birth of his second child.


The Flames hit Nashville to tackle the Predators on Thursday (6 p.m. MT, SNET-W) before visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets (5 p.m. MT, SNET-W) on Friday.

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