The Calgary Flames won the playoff series for only the second time in 17 years with a 3-2 victory in extra time Sunday over the Dallas Stars in the seventh and decisive game of their series.
Johnny Gaudreau scored the goal in extra time at 15:09.
He recovered a counter-attack and fired a shot into the top corner of Stars’ Jake Oettinger, who made 61 saves in the game.
The inexperienced flame focuses on the ‘process’ with the goal of finishing off opponents in the playoffs
The Flames will face Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference semifinals in their first post-season Battle of Alberta since 1991. The series opens Wednesday in Calgary.
Tyler Toffoli and Matthew Tkachuk scored the first goals of the series for the Flames.
Calgary goalkeeper Jacob Markstrom saved 26 shots and provided an assist in the win.
Jamie Benn and Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Stars.
After reaching the Stanley Cup final in 2004 when Calgary lost seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning – 2005 was a stalemate – the Flames didn’t win another series of playoffs until 2015 when Calgary was beaten in the round by Anaheim. two.
Calgary (50-21-11) advanced to this year’s knockouts as the higher seed topping the Pacific Division, while Dallas (46-30-6) took the first wild card spot in the grandstand .
With little playoff success in recent years, the Flames have come under considerable pressure to win their first Game 7 in 16 years before ticket sales at the Saddledome, and return to a stellar season with some progress after the season.
Calgary edged Dallas 52-23 in three innings on Sunday, but the score was deadlocked into the first extra time of the series.
Oettinger stopped Gaudreau on his doorstep near the 11th mark of the third inning, followed by Markstrom stoning Jacob Petersen in the breakaway.
The Flames drew even in the second half on Tkachuk’s goal a second after a Dallas youngster expired.
Markstrom headed home from close range to Gaudreau, who knocked out Tkachuk for a corner kick into the top corner in the 8:44th minute.
Namestnikov made Dallas 2-1 just 31 seconds after Toffoli started the game.
Namestnikov had a finish from Markstrom’s wrist on a cross from Joe Pavelski at 2:17.
Toffoli skews Oliver Kylington’s shot from the board just inside the blue line at 1:46.
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The Flames overcame Dallas 17-8 in the first half, but the visitors took a 1-0 lead thanks to Benn’s goal 40 seconds after a low strike.
Tyler Seguin from the net side put Benn into the middle of the slot and the Stars captain beat Markstrom on the side.
Dallas will be without center back Roope Hintz with an upper body injury and striker Luke Glendening with a lower body injury in the 7th half. Striker Radek Faksa, also injured in the upper body, missed the third half on Sunday. Japan.
Calgary’s top guard, Chris Tanev, was also scratched with an undisclosed injury.
Nearly half of the Flames’ 2022 edition have never won a playoff round, while the Stars have instilled that experience in losing to the Lightning in the Cup final two years ago in Edmonton.
The series is a targeted introduction.
After 23-year-old Oettinger’s stellar performance and punishing the defense around their wrinkles, the Stars organized a high scoring attack with 10 goals evenly across seven games.
Markstrom proved to be the underdog of Oettinger, but made acrobatic runs, made timely saves to give his team a chance to win every game and held the Stars to a draw as Dallas pressed the pitch early in extra time.
The Stars are proud of their more recent Game 7 experience when they overcame the Colorado Avalanche in stoppage time two years ago to reach the grand finals.
But Flames coach Darryl Sutter has coached them immensely with his 8-3 record currently unmatched by any other NHL coach in wins.
Calgary opened the series with a 1-0 win and 0-2 loss at home before dividing the points at the American Airlines Center.
The Flames then won 2-1 at home and lost 4-2 at Dallas to send the series back to Calgary for the finale.
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