Looking to earn their first Game 2 win in a million years (or since May 11, 2004 in the Western Conference Final versus the San Jose Sharks), the Calgary Flames faced off against the Dallas Stars in the last Game 2 to start in the first round of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The key to the Flames’ success in Game 2 involved not letting Dallas control the pace. However, that did not happen. The game started off with an agonisingly slow start. Despite there being an abundance of penalties, two sets were offsetting to push the game into four-on-four, and thus there were only three power plays shared between the two teams. Only 10:02 of the first period was played at 5v5, and neither team put up a lot of pressure.
However, just before the eight-minute mark, the Stars got up ahead early on a perfectly tipped shot by no other than Joe Pavelski, tipper extraordinaire. An initial shot by Jason Robertson was tipped right above Jacob Markstrom‘s shoulder for the game’s first goal.
Not much else happened in the first, which was detrimental for the Flames and their game plan. There was a lot of lethargic plays and far too many missed passes however. It was an excruciating playoff period to say the least. Exactly what the Stars wanted.
The Flames pushed back in the second and started to turn the tide heavily in their favour. However, their shot attempts—while numerous—were not exactly high-danger. Jake Oettinger was not heavily challenged and saved all 11 shots that made it to him in the second period.
The Stars escaped the period maintaining the one-goal lead over the Flames.
Desperation started to show for the Flames in the third period and they threw everything they had at the net. They had more and more chances as the game progressed.
Despite the awful first 20 minutes, the second and third periods were a lot better for Calgary, but they didn’t carry the killer instinct or overwhelming pressure they typically do. It was a bit of a paradox wit the the Flames controlling the game but not being particularly dangerous when they had the puck either.
As time wound down, the Flames continued to see more and more chances in spades, but Oettinger was up to the task.
With 90 seconds to go, Markstrom headed to the bench for the extra attacker and the Stars iced the puck soon after. Then on the ensuing faceoff the Stars exited the zone and Michael Raffl scored on the vacant net. That’d be the final goal of the game. 2–0 Stars, final score.
The series is tied at one game apiece. Data visualisations from the game below.
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