- With a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday, the Calgary Flames clinched first place in the Pacific Division.
- As one of the teams contending for a wild-card spot, the Stars will play their final four games at the American Airlines Center.
- Fredrik Karlstrom was stopped on a partial breakaway, but his momentum carried him out of the crease as he completed the save.
The Calgary Flames won first place in the Pacific Division with a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Matthew Tkachuk scored his 40th goal and 100th point, while Chris Tanev scored the game-winner.
The Flames have won their eighth division title overall but only their third in the last 27 years.
Calgary (48-20-10) has won eight of its previous ten games, with Noah Hanifin and Andrew Mangiapane scoring into an empty net.
The Flames will face the winner of the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, which start in less than two weeks.
Dallas got goals from Jason Robertson and Luke Glendening (43-30-5). On their Western Canada road trip, the Stars dropped all three games.
The Stars will play their final four games at the American Airlines Center as one of the teams vying for a wild-card position. On Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks will take on the Seattle Kraken.
Dallas sits precariously in second place in the wild-card standings, two points behind Nashville and two points ahead of Vegas. The Predators lead the Stars by one game.
The Flames’ Jacob Markstrom earned the win, making 21 saves to improve to 37-15-8.
Jake Oettinger had 33 saves, making him the busier of the two goalies. He now has a record of 27-15-1.
After Hanifin’s point shot escaped Oettinger, who Mikael Backlund screened, Calgary claimed its second lead of the night with the game tied at 1-1 heading into the third period.
The Stars, on the other hand, responded five minutes later. Fredrik Karlstrom was stopped on a partial breakaway, but his momentum carried him out of the crease as he made the save. Glendening was right there to take the rebound and put it in the empty net.
Karlstrom scored his first NHL point in his debut game. After a 5-2 setback in Edmonton on Wednesday, coach Rick Bowness made a few lineup changes, including inserting the Stars’ 2016 third-round pick.
At 13:05, Tanev scored the game-winning goal on a point shot deflected in off the leg of Glendening, who was battling Backlund in front.
After a scoreless first 20 minutes, Calgary took the lead for the NHL-leading 50th time. Tkachuk slammed the puck in from the side of the net with the Flames on the power play at 10:06 and celebrated by throwing his arms in the air as his teammates surrounded him.
In 2018-19, the 24-year-old winger set a new career-best with 34 goals and 77 points.
Calgary had 2 100-point scorers for the fourth time in franchise history last week and the first time since Theo Fleury (51-53-104) and Al MacInnis (28-75-103) did it in 1990-91.
However, the advantage was short-lived.
The Stars went on their seventh power play of the game less than two minutes later, and Robertson collected a pass from Jon Klingberg and ripped a shot past Markstrom in only seven seconds.
The game was 0-0 after the first quarter, which was sloppy and disorganized, with the teams combining for three tripping penalties in 56 seconds at one point.
Source: Global News
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