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The five takeaways

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames
CALGARY, AB -- Heading into Friday's contest, it's almost guaranteed neither the Calgary Flames or the Dallas Stars expected 11 goals to scored. However, the Flames offensive exploded against the visitors and they handed the Stars a 7-4 loss.


Alex Tanguay opened the scoring with his 12th tally of the year. Robyn Regehr made a pass from the blueline to Brendan Morrison, who was perched at the side of the net. A crowd drew around the veteran pivot, including goaltender Andrew Raycroft. Morrison saw Tanguay jump into the slot unattended and dished it to the winger. Tanguay neatly deposited the puck into the open net at 3:40.

Dallas managed to pull ahead in the first frame when Brenden Morrow and Brad Richards were able to beat Karlsson.

However, Olli Jokinen ensured they didn't hold the lead for long. Coming in on a partial two-on-onewith Niklas Hagman, the Finn opted to shoot instead of pass and scored a highlight reel goal when his wrist shot flew over Raycroft's glove.

The Flames kept coming in the second period, putting three pucks past Raycroft. First, Mikael Backlund added the Flames third of the night when he redirected Tim Jackman's pass from the half-wall.

After that, David Moss slid a soft shock under the netminder's pads. Just under a minute later, Brendan Morrison went in a two-on-one with Tanguay and snapped a shot over Raycroft's glove.

Dallas pushed back with goals from Nicklas Grossman and James Neal but the offensive onslaught continued when Jarome Iginla scored his 20th of the year. The captain burst through two defenders at the side of the net and managed to slide the puck around Raycroft's pad.

Moss added his second of the night on the power play. He parked himself right outside the blue paint and was able to whack in a rebound off of a Mark Giordano shot.

TAKEAWAY ONE: Quick start

After Wednesday's loss to the Minnesota Wild, many players and the Flames coaching staff said their slow start was their demise in that battle. They were looking to rectify that against the Stars and thanks to some great forechecking shifts, they were able to accomplish that.

Tanguay's opening goal was the product of hard work in the offensive zone. Bouwmeester was able to hold the puck in at the line thanks to his hussle and long reach, Regeher's ability to see open passing lanes and Morrison's instinct to put the puck in the slot instead of throwing it back to the blueline combined for one of many excellent shifts in the opening five minutes.

TAKEAWAY TWO: King Karlsson

While Karlsson has been excellent when playing on the road, he has looked jittery in his performances at home. He may want the first goal scored on him back but other than that, his play was rock solid.

Just past the five minute mark of the middle frame, Morrow looked like he had his second goal of the evening when the netminder was distracted at the other side of the net, leaving him with empty net. Somehow, Karlsson managed to get his leg over in time when Morrow got the puck and the crowd went wild. That support seemed to boost his confidence and while he did left in a couple more, he was able to make the clutch saves when he needed to.

Overall, Karlsson made 17 saves on 21 shots.

TAKEAWAY THREE: Reaching 20

Iginla has been a perrenial 30 goal scorer for the majority of his career and while his pace has slowed slightly this year, he's been picking up speed. On Friday, he reached number 20 when he was able to deke around Raycroft and slip the puck around his pad.

TAKEAWAY FOUR: Defensively challenged

The Dallas Stars have some incredible talent up front. With players like Richards, Neal and Benn, goals come often. But their defensive corps isn't in the same state.

The Stars coverage in their own end left a lot to be desired and they consistently allowed the Flames walk into the their zone and set up shop. Their inability to stop Calgary from crossing the blueline led to six goals on 19 shots.

TAKEAWAY FIVE: Never die attitude

In prior losses, the team would lament about taking their foot off the gas after gaining a lead. That was not the case on Friday.

After Neal made it a one-goal affair early in the final period, the Flames didn't sit back. Instead, they kept pressing and were able to exploit the Stars defensive woes for another couple of goals. That pressure won them the game and quelled the Stars momentum in the third period.
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