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OFFENCE HELD IN CHECK

Talbot puts in impressive performance but Flames fall to visiting Stars

by TY PILSON @typilson / CalgaryFlames.com

The Flames got the start they wanted. 

They got the goaltending they wanted.

They just couldn't get the goals they needed.

 

Video: Brendan Parker recaps the loss to Dallas

 

The Flames finished off a four-game homestand with a 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars Wednesday night.

They end with a 2-1-1 record over that span at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Sean Monahan scored his fifth of the season in the third period but the team couldn't muster any more offence to post another of their well-known third-period comebacks.

Cam Talbot - who last played 10 days ago in a road loss to the Capitals - put in an excellent performance in net, making 30 stops in on the night.

Not surprisingly, he was named the game's first star.

The Flames didn't waste any time bounding out of the gate.

In a near-carbon copy of this beauty he scored against the Capitals back on Nov. 3, Andrew Mangiapane took a pass from Matthew Tkachuk who was behind the net - just after Chucky intercepted a Stars pass - and walked out across the crease trying to wrap it around big Ben Bishop.

However, the 6-foot-7 'tender used all his size to get his right pad across to the far post to deny the chance, unlike Washington's 6-foot-3 Ilya Samsonov who came up short on the move, literally.

That was less than 60 seconds into the game.

Just over a minute later, Michael Frolik - who had sat out the past two games as a healthy scratch - worked hard to gain the zone then dropped a pass between his legs for Sam Bennett and drove the net with two defenders on him.

Bennett put the puck on his tape and Frolik tried to go five-hole, Bishop slamming the pads shut.

Those two Grade-A chances came on the Flames first three shots of the game.

After a air-tight penalty-kill kept the Stars to just one shot on a Travis Hamonic boarding minor, the defenceman just missed getting the handle on a breakaway pass as he came out of the box behind the Stars D.

Moments later, Milan Lucic carried the puck into the Dallas zone, pulled up, pump faked, before feeding Rasmus Andersson as he streaked into the slot for a great chance of his own - Calgary's fourth shot - that Bishop turned aside.

Shot No. 6 was a harmless-looking wrister from Mark Jankowski just inside the blueline out by the boards that beat Bishop short-side over his right shoulder but clanged off the cross-bar and out of harm's way.

Shots No. 7 and 8 came on a late powerplay after Alexander Radulov tripped Johnny Gaudreau with just 58 ticks left in the frame.

First, Monahan wasn't able to get all he wanted on a shot from the slot and later, Tkachuk - parked in his office out front - tipped a point shot Bishop got a piece of. 

 

Video: Condensed Game: Stars @ Flames

 

Talbot made some big stops in the first 20 as the shots were 8-8 after one, but the majority of high-quality chances went to the homeside.

The Flames started the second on the PP but just as it expired, Stars captain Jamie Benn rang one off the post as the visitors poured it on to begin the period.

Aided by a powerplay of their own with Bennett off for interference on Miro Heiskanen, they outshot Calgary 8-1 early.

Shots No. 6, 7 and 8 came in rapid succession off the stick of Joe Pavelski on the door step on the man up, the third whack finally knocking the puck past Talbot at 3:22 after he stopped the first two.

Talbot later made two big saves on Corey Perry on a 3-on-2, the Flames heading back the other way and Tkachuk getting a chance on a 2-on-1 with Mangiapane but unable to convert.

 

 

Towards the end of the frame, Frolik one-timed a pass from Backlund in the slot but again Bishop was there.

The Stars ended the second with a sizable 26-14 edge in shots, Talbot's play the difference as he kept his team close, only down the single goal.

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: 📊 from tonight's game vs. the Stars. More stats: https://t.co/Xfc9Z6uVVu pic.twitter.com/giJpdhdLW4

 

As often happens, an excellent chance at one end in the third led to the Stars second goal of the game.

The Flames had a 3-on-1 where Backlund passed to Giordano who went back to Backlund and he missed behind Bishop and wide.

On the ensuing 2-on-1 back the other way for Dallas, Justin Dowling kept it himself and toe-dragged around Talbot to slip it home on a tough angle at 6:38.

Pressing to get on the board, Giordano feed Monahan at the side of the net but Stars defenceman Andrej Sekera got his stick on the shot just as Monahan released it, sending it up and over the boards.

However, Monahan would finally get rewarded on a powerplay with Radek Faksa in the box for four-minutes for a high stick on Gaudreau.

Bishop stopped Tkachuk's shot from the faceoff dot but the puck lobbed in the air, Monahan hitting it in on the backhand just as the puck hit the ice on the other side of the crease.

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: He's got it.#DALvsCGY | #Flames pic.twitter.com/2S3mTRfP6V

 

The Stars later capped it off with an empty-netter from Pavelski with a 1:33 to play.

 

Video: "We had some looks."

 

THEY SAID IT:

Tkachuk on the night:

"It was a tight game the whole game. That second goal hurt a little bit when they got one but then we got one right back. It's still a one-goal game and we gave a little bit of a push in the third but not enough."

 

Tkachuk on Talbot's performance:

"I mean myself, personally, it hurts when he puts on a performance like that and makes so many key saves and gives us a chance when we probably shouldn't have had a chance after the first two periods. He made some great stops. Some of the games he's come in, he's been our best player in some of those games. And on a night like tonight, all I wanted to do was be able to reward him, and the rest of the guys, same way, but we got find a way ... he worked so hard."

 

Talbot on his play:

"Overall, ya. I think I gave up a few too many rebounds and stuff like that in the second period and made myself and some of the guys work a little extra hard but I think, overall, I made a lot of key saves when we needed them in the second period to keep it a one-goal game heading into the third and just needed, you know, that one more save in the third to make it more attainable."

 

Bill Peters on result:

"That's kind of the way it was for us. We had some looks early, Mangie had a look on the first shift, real good forecheck, and then I thought Andy was down the middle in the first period and then the first shift in the second we had the carry over of the penalty and Chucky was in a littlepartial one coming down the off win. So I thought we had some looks, I thought our second periodwe couldhave beenbetter obviosuly, but I definitely thought we had some looks." 

 

Video: "Overall, I made a lot of key saves."

 

ONE-TIMERS:

This is the second of three matchups this season between the two teams. The Flames beat the Stars in a shootout earlier this season by a score of 3-2 in Dallas ... He was never a popular fella in these parts, often a thorn in the Flames' side when he played for the Ducks during some epic battles over the years, but Perry skated in his 1,000th game last night and was recognized for hitting the milestone during a first-intermission TV timeout. With his parents and family in the stands, he was given a classy round of applause ... The Flames now have a record of 5-5-3 against Western Conference opponents, and a record of 2-2-2 against the Central Division.

 

Video: "We've got to do a better job of getting to the net."

 

THE LINEUP: 

Lines, D-pairings and goalie to start tonight's tilt (starters in bold).

FORWARDS

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Elias Lindholm

Andrew Mangiapane - Mikael Backlund - Matthew Tkachuk

Sam Bennett - Derek Ryan - Michael Frolik

Milan Lucic - Mark Jankowski - Tobias Rieder

DEFENCE

Mark Giordano - Travis Hamonic

Noah Hanifin - Rasmus Andersson

TJ Brodie - Michael Stone

GOALTENDER

Cam Talbot

 

UP NEXT:

The Flames head out on the road for another back-to-back, taking on the Coyotes in a 2 p.m. matinee in Glendale on Saturday (TV: Sportsnet Flames, Radio: SPORTSNET960 The Fan) before finishing up in Sin City Sunday against the Golden Knights (5 p.m., TV: Sportsnet Flames, Radio: SPORTSNET960 The Fan). In their first meeting of the year, Vegas won 6-2 at home, while Calgary beat Arizona 4-3 in OT in a wild one back on Nov. 5.

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