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Wild-card Stars power Recreation 7 in opposition to Calgary with 4-2 win

DALLAS (AP) — Joe Pavelski and the Dallas Stars have been skating with urgency within the third interval. If not, it may simply have been their final one of many season.

Miro Heiskanen scored the go-ahead objective late within the second interval and the Stars recovered after blowing an early two-goal lead, beating the Calgary Flames 4-2 on Friday evening to power a deciding Recreation 7 of their first-round Western Convention sequence .

“The message was we have to have third. We have not at all times had good thirds at occasions with the lead, and we needed to type of attempt to flip that,” Pavelski mentioned. “The opposite evening, they got here out onerous within the third and we did not deal with it nicely sufficient. And tonight was a kind of conditions the place I believe everybody purchased in. We took a step in the fitting path of doing it.”

Calgary was in place to shut out the wild-card Stars after a 3-1 house win in Recreation 5 on Wednesday evening, when the Pacific Division champions scored all of their objectives within the third interval.

This sequence as a substitute goes again to the Saddledome for a deciding Recreation 7 on Sunday evening.

“A hell of a sport. We could not get the equalizer,” a rather-terse Calgary coach Darryl Sutter mentioned.

The primary objective in these playoffs for Heiskanen got here on a 40-foot shot with a bunch of visitors in entrance of Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom. That got here with 2:28 left within the second interval, during which each groups scored twice.

With their season on the road, the Stars did not give in throughout the third interval.

“We went after them as a substitute of sitting again. … That was one in all our higher third intervals of the 12 months, and it was a well timed one,” Michael Raffl mentioned.

“That was NHL playoff hockey at its greatest. That was an important hockey sport,” coach Rick Bowness mentioned. “Each groups, each objectives, have been nice.”

Calgary will host a Recreation 7 for the primary time since 2006, when it misplaced its first-round sequence to Anaheim. That is the third consecutive playoffs that the Stars will play a Recreation 7 — they beat Colorado within the second spherical within the NHL bubble in Canada two seasons in the past, and misplaced at St. Louis in a second-round sequence that went the complete distance in 2019.

“We now have a assured group,” Pavelski mentioned. “Each sport’s been tight, been aggressive and enjoyable to play in.”

Roope Hintz and Raffl additionally scored for Dallas, and Tyler Seguin added an empty-netter within the last minute. Jake Oettinger, their 23-year-old goalie who had by no means began a playoff sport earlier than this sequence, stopped 36 photographs.

Markstrom additionally had 36 saves.

Calgary tied the sport at 2 with 8:01 left within the second interval on a objective by Mikael Backlund, which got here 1 second after the tip of what formally went down as one other unsuccessful energy play on this sequence when each groups have struggled with a person benefit.

That made the Flames 0 for two on the ability play within the sport, to match Dallas at 2 for 21 within the sequence.

The Stars made it 2 for 22 halfway by means of the third interval when Joe Pavelski had an virtually point-blank shot that ricocheted off Markstrom’s skate that was on the road.

Backlund’s third objective of the sequence got here on a slap shot that Oettinger had deflected earlier than it bounced off Heiskanen and into the online. That was about 4 minutes after Johnny Gaudreau’s nifty crossing move to Michael Stone for the straightforward tip-in.

“They get two, and we climb again. It is a tight sport however I might say that 3-2 objective late within the second was robust,” Flames middle Elias Lindholm mentioned. “Clearly, we would wish to win this sport, but it surely’s a brand new day tomorrow and a sport on Sunday, and that is why we fought so onerous all 12 months to have house ice on Recreation 7.”

The Stars had a 2-0 lead about six minutes into the second interval when Raffl completed off a wild play in entrance of the online.

Joel Kiviranta was attempting to comply with up his personal shot, even reaching again after skating previous the online, whereas two Calgary skaters and Markstrom all went down on the ice. Defenseman Christopher Tanev was one of many ones down, and tried to push the puck away together with his hand earlier than Raffl was capable of stuff it simply contained in the publish

Hintz received his second objective of the sequence with 5:08 left within the first interval, proper after Oettinger withstood a flurry of photographs on the different finish.

Matthew Tkachuk and Gaudreau, each 100-point and 40-goal scorers within the common season, received off fast photographs in succession that had Oettinger scrambling and diving throughout the crease.

As soon as the Stars had the puck going the opposite means, Pavelski had a drop-back move for the charging Hintz, who despatched a fast wrister beneath the legs of Markstrom.

Tkachuk took a backhander off his knee early within the first interval that ricocheted off the publish.

GAME 7 HISTORY

Calgary is 5-7 in Recreation 7s, however has misplaced six of the final seven it has performed. The one Recreation 7 victory for the Flames since 1990 was within the first spherical in opposition to Vancouver in 2004, earlier than they then superior to the Stanley Cup Ultimate and misplaced to Tampa Bay within the seventh sport.

Dallas is 6-8, together with a Recreation 7 win over Colorado within the second spherical of the 2020 playoffs, when the Stars went on to make the Stanley Cup Ultimate within the postseason performed in a bubble in Canada due to the pandemic.

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Extra AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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