Except for an empty-net goal in their final showdown of the regular season, the three 2012-22 NHL games between the Calgary Flames and the Dallas Stars all were decided by a goal.
Expect more of the same when their first-round playoff series begins tomorrow at the Saddledome.
Here’s a recap of this season’s Flames-Stars showdowns:
Nov. 4: Dallas Stars take it in OT
Stars 4 @ Flames 3 (OT)
The teams traded the lead three times during their first meeting of the season before Stars captain Jamie Benn scored the winning goal in overtime for the visitors.
Defenceman Nikita Zadorov led the Flames in scoring with a goal, his first with the team, that tied the game late in the third period as well as an assist.
At times, the game flow reminded observers of an old-fashioned, clog-the-neutral-zone affair from 20 years ago. The Flames woke up in the second period with 15 shots on Stars goalie Anton Khudobin and two of their goals, which came three-and-a-half minutes apart from Milan Lucic and Matthew Tkachuk.
While they didn’t score goals, Mikael Backlund and Elias Lindholm were the most-dangerous Flames on the night with four and five scoring chances respectively. Backlund had three goalmouth chances in the second period alone.
Top-pairing defenceman Miro Heiskanen led the scoring-chance way for the Stars with three.
Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 24 of 28 shots while counterpart Khudobin stopped 30 of 33.
February 1: Cue Calgary Flames’ comeback
Flames 4 @ Stars 3
Down two goals to start the third period, the Flames scored three times in the final frame to beat the host Stars and earn their first come-from-behind win of the season.
All three of their third-period markers came in the final six minutes of the game. Forwards Andrew Mangiapane (14:36) and Johnny Gaudreau (15:13) scored before defenceman Oliver Kylington deposited the winner behind Stars goalie Jake Oettinger at 18:13.
The Flames outshot the Stars 18-5 in the final frame and won the overall SOG battle 40-28. Of the Stars’ 28 shots, 17 came in the second period.
Goalie Dan Vladar came on in relief of starter Jacob Markstrom to start the third. Vladar stopped each of the five shots he faced. Markstrom had allowed three goals on 17 shots over the first 40 minutes.
Mangiapane was the most-dangerous Flame on the night with five scoring chances while Jamie Benn, with four, led Stars players with four (he also scored Dallas’s lone second-period goal).
April 21: Calgary Flames turn up the heat
Stars 2 @ Flames 4
The Flames turned up the pressure as the game went on and the Stars withered in the third period as the hosts won.
After a scoreless first, Matthew Tkachuk opened the scoring halfway through the second on the power play with his 40th goal and 100th point of the season.
Top Stars goal-getter Jason Robertson replied less than two minutes later on the PP with his 38th, but the Flames pressed in the third, holding the visitors to four shots (and a goal by Luke Glendening) while piling up 13 of their own and putting three more pucks past goalie Jake Oettinger, who stopped 33 of 36 shots he faced.
Ten of Calgary’s shots came on the power play, four shorthanded.
Defencemen Noah Hanifin and, with the winner, Chris Tanev scored from the blue line in the third while Andrew Mangiapane added an empty-net goal with 25 seconds left.
Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom turned aside 21 of 23 shots in the win.
Calgary Flames vs. Dallas Stars playoff preview
Get caught up on intel heading into Game 1 of the Calgary-Dallas NHL first-round playoff series.