After a thrilling win Thursday, there was some question as to whether the Dallas Stars would suffer a hangover effect in a rare back-to-back situation in game three of its Stanley Cup Playoff series against Calgary.
Unfortunately for the Stars, many of its strengths in Thursday’s game didn’t carry over into Friday’s 2-0 loss at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta.
For the 11th straight game, Dallas allowed its opponent to score the first goal. This time, it didn’t come until the second period- when Calgary’s Mikael Backlund scored a short-handed goal in the seconds after an errant Stars outlet pass. TJ Brodie extended the Flames’ lead with a wrist shot against a disarrayed Stars defense.
Dallas allowed just four short handed goals in the regular season, but have already given up three in its “bubble” games. On the other hand, power plays have been a strength for Calgary in the bubble. They’ve scored three power play goals, and incredibly, have counteracted their effect with a league-leading three goals with the disadvantage.
After pouring on five goals, the Stars’ offense came to a screeching halt- largely because of the play of Flames goalie Cam Talbot. His third start of the series was his most impressive, recording 35 saves.
After scoring two goals Thursday, defenseman Miro Heiskanen was held pointless for the first time since last Wednesday’s shutout loss to Colorado. He still made contributions, however, drawing two power play opportunities for the Stars.
Dallas couldn’t capitalize, however, and have gone 1-16 on power play opportunities this week- including Sunday’s win over St. Louis with the three games of the first round series. Dallas also outshot Calgary for the second straight night.
Anton Khoudobin got the nod over Ben Bishop in an effort to rest the starter. He stopped 21 out of 23 shots, but fell to an 0-2 record in the series. It’s likely that Dallas will turn back to Bishop for game four, but the team hasn’t named a starter at time of publication.
A pivotal game four is set for Sunday at 1:00 and can be seen on NBC Sports and Fox Sports Southwest.
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