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Flames at Stars Recap: Sparks Explode

The Flames rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Dallas Stars in a shootout at the American Airlines Center.



Whenever I see the Stars‘ arena, the American Airlines Center, mentioned anywhere, I’m always reminded of when Canadian Airlines sponsored the Saddledome way back in the day and had their logo painted on the roof. The good old days? RIP Canadian Airlines. (Oddly, they were apparently the first airline to have a website, according to Wikipedia.)

ANYWAY. A hockey game happened!

I actually started writing out this recap Boring Monahan style after the first period (like Ari did in January), because not a lot happened. A whole lot of nothing happened. I forgot Tim Thomas is a Star now, and was duly reminded—he’s still wearing his red and yellow Panthers pads, which looks hilarious—and he didn’t get a lot of action in the first half of the period, with Calgary flailing around a bit in their own zone. The Stars picked up a lot of rebounds and generally poured on the pressure, with shots coming in at 7-3 Dallas midway through the period.

With two minutes to go in the period Calgary had stormed back and tied the shots on net at 8 apiece, generally skating better and managing to hang on to the puck for more than a split second. The period ended scoreless.

Thirteen seconds into the second period Antoine Roussel flipped a shot at Joey MacDonald and it hit the crossbar, went down and dribbled out the corner—from the angle on the Dallas broadcast it didn’t look like it had gone in at all, but a goal review and an overhead replay showed it had indeed crossed the line on its trajectory. Good goal; Dallas up 1-0.

About six minutes later, Mike Cammalleri scored on a snap shot to tie the game, and twitter was very divided about it. Trade value and all, you know.

Anyway, simultaneous penalties to Mark Giordano (interference) and Ryan Garbutt (embellishment) resulted in a 4-on-4, and an incredible series of passes led to Jamie Benn deflecting the puck past Joey Mac. Up until that point the Flames had been doing a good job of keeping the momentum on their side, but things shifted pretty fast; the Stars would not be content with a one-goal lead, and Erik Cole tipped a Brenden Dillon pass for the Stars’ third goal, the last of the period.

The third period, oh. Well. The first ten or so minutes passed by without much event, though both teams had a few energetic rushes; about halfway through, though, Kevin Connauton took a brainfart penalty (as they say in the biz) for flipping the puck over the glass. The Flames kept the puck in the Dallas zone, and after a rebound with Tim Thomas committed to one side of his crease, Paul Byron took full advantage of the open net. The Flames were within one.

We’ve all seen this movie before: Flames down one with a few minutes to go, TJ Brodie knocks a great pass to Mike Cammalleri, tie game. I think the energy in the stands at the American Airlines Center changed just a little. Regulation time ended tied at 3 with the Flames leading slightly in shots.

Overtime, though it was exciting—and mostly Flames-dominated, with a big Ladislav Smid blocked shot in the dying seconds—solved nothing. The shootout, a thing I hate, took four rounds. Each team’s first two (Jamie Benn and Colton Sceviour for Dallas, Joe Colborne and Mike Cammalleri for Calgary) were denied; Jordie Benn and Sean Monahan both scored in the third round, Tyler Seguin couldn’t quite do it, and then the hero, Corban Knight, potted the winner. Comeback complete. Not bad, spoiler team.

That was pretty fun. Let's not whine about draft positioning today and enjoy the incredible effort from this roster full of kids. The future is now! Little sparks!

For the enemy perspective, please head over to Defending Big D. We’ll see you back here tomorrow night for the Hockey Night in Canada production of Flames vs Coyotes.

by Ruhee Dewji