Well this sucks. After such optimism after Game 1, the Flames have lost two straight and now face the potential of going down 3-1 in a first round yet again. The team looks to be resurrecting their old playoff demons again, with the offence drying up and the team facing a hot goalie at the wrong time.
The Flames still have a solid chance here. Win this game and it’s 2–2 with a best of three to finish it off. Plain and simple, this is a must win game.
Round 1, Game 4
Calgary Flames @ Dallas Stars
American Airlines Arena
The Calgary Flames lineup is could see some changes after Game 3. Updates to follow if necessary.
The Dallas Stars lineup is expected to be the same as Game 3. Updates to follow if necessary.
Series so far
The Flames are simply getting outplayed by Joe Pavelski on the offensive end, while at the same time getting absolutely goalied on the other.
Their 5v5 play still leaves something to be desired, but they are still controlling the play and getting more of the chances. Interestingly enough, the HDCF% has remained 50/50 the entire series. The Flames were dominant in this category all season, and I think this is the difference maker thus far. Perhaps Dallas’ game plan was to take away the Flames’ ability to generate these scoring chances.
Players to watch
Dallas: Joe Pavelski
The only reason Pavelski is being mentioned yet again is because the Flames should seriously watch out for him. He has completely owned the Flames in the playoffs last time they met, and this year. Eliminate his ability to be effective and suddenly Dallas really doesn’t have much else going for them up front.
Calgary: Matthew Tkachuk
I think Game 4 is going to be a huge litmus test for what type of player Matthew Tkachuk wants to be in the postseason. His early fight in Game 3 I think cost the team more than we realize, with him missing two power play opportunities and now has to deal with a damaged hand.
Tkachuk is at his most effective when he is driving play, while also being pesky, but he has yet to find that line in the playoffs. Through 16 career playoff games, Tkachuk has just 8 points. Everyone says he is built for the postseason, and it’s about time he shows that.