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Stars Fall to Flames in Game One

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Stanley Cup Playoffs logo. | Image Courtesy National Hockey League

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The Stars dropped game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs 1-0 to the Flames in Calgary on May 3 and will look to even the series on Thursday, May 5, before heading home to Dallas on Saturday, May 7 for game three.

“I thought they were going to run us out of the rink, and they didn’t,” Stars head coach Rick Bowness said after the loss. “We put up a good fight.”

Calgary (50-21-11) won the Pacific Division, while the Stars (46-30-6) qualified for the Western Conference playoffs as the first wild-card team.

In the first period, Stars defenseman Jani Hakanpaa was called for an illegal check to Blake Coleman’s head, and the Flames punished Dallas by scoring off the ensuing faceoff.

Elias Lindholm won the draw and took a feed from the boards from Tkachuk. At 5:01 of the period, Lindholm fired a wrist shot that beat Jakob Oettinger under his glove.

Calgary led 1-0 after a dominant first period, holding the Stars to just three shots on goal. Dallas took its first shot on goal at 11:05.

Both teams had to deal with the loss of a critical defenseman at the end of the first period. Both Calgary’s Rasmus Andersson and Dallas’ John Klingberg were given game misconducts for fighting at the buzzer.

In the final seconds, Matthew Tkachuk pushed Klingberg into the boards behind Calgary’s net, leading  Matthew Tkachuk and Michael Raffl to exchange punches. A confrontation between Klingberg and Andersson immediately followed that brawl.

The Dallas Stars went 0-for-5 without Klingberg leading the way with a man advantage.

“It’s clear our power play has to get clicking,” Bowness said. “That was a big issue for us. We need more pucks on the net. But the compete was there, the work ethic, everything was good.”

The Stars had chances in the third but were limited to just 16 shots the entire game. They could not get a shot past Jacob Markstrom, who ran his lifetime playoff record to 9-6-0 with this shutout for the Flames.

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