For the first time since 2014–15, the Calgary Flames are in a position to clinch a playoff series and move to the second round.
After two periods of dullness in Game 5, and the likelihood of another Jake Oettinger shutout performance, the Flames completely flipped the script in the third period to take a 3–1 comeback win and take a 3–2 series lead. If you didn’t go from “trade everyone and blow this up” after 40 minutes to “the Calgary Flames are going deep” in the final 20, then I don’t know what game you were watching.
The Dallas Stars, and most of their players, have been in an elimination game before. Most of the Flames young players have never been in a position to win a playoff series in the NHL.
Which team shows up tonight?
Round 1, Game 6
Calgary Flames @ Dallas Stars
American Airlines Arena
According to Salim Valji, the Flames look to be going back to a 12/6 lineup, and not stick with the 11/7 they’ve deployed the past two games:
According to Matthew DeFranks, the Stars are sticking with their lineup from Game 5:
Series so far
The Flames led the statistical battle on Wednesday night yet again, but with similar numbers as they have been during the series which resulted in minor differences. The Flames still dominate the play and generate more scoring chances, with the Stars getting the SV% needed to survive.
Another game along these lines should favour the Flames.
Players to watch
Dallas: Jamie Benn
Jamie Benn has more fines than points this postseason. He’s the Stars highest paid player and has done virtually nothing. In an elimination game, expect to see something from Benn.
Calgary: Matthew Tkachuk
Something is up with Matthew Tkachuk. Maybe his hand is hurt from his fight with John Klingberg, maybe he’s still getting used to playoff hockey, or maybe he’s still dealing with the line of being a best and being an elite player.
Regardless, the 100-point player we had during the season looks to have not yet arrived against Dallas. This could be a statement game for Tkachuk.