Mikael Backlund and T.J. Brodie both scored while goaltender Cam Talbot sparkled in net as the Calgary Flames beat the Dallas Stars 2-0 Friday night in Edmonton and take the advantage in their opening round Stanley Cup playoff series.
Talbot made 35 saves -- 16 of them in the second period alone -- to record his fourth career playoff shutout and second this postseason.
Calgary leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 with Game 4 scheduled for Sunday afternoon. It'll be the fifth game in eight days for the Stars, who have just one victory since the season resumed.
In classic rope-a-dope style that you'd find in a made-for-TV movie, Backlund opened the scoring with a short-handed tally amidst a one-sided second period that was dominated by the Stars.
Backlund stole the puck from a fallen Roope Hintz in the neutral zone and then held off Corey Perry's attempt at defending while he managed a sharp-angled shot on net that Dallas goalie Anton Khudobin couldn't handle and watched trickle over the line at 5:58 of the second period.
It was the 10th consecutive game in which the Stars surrendered the first goal.
Other than that goal, the middle period was all Stars. Dallas posted a 16-4 edge in shots on goal, a 34-7 margin in shot attempts and had nearly a dozen and a half scoring chances.
As much as the Stars held the territorial advantage, Brodie doubled Calgary's lead just past the midway point of the third period. Brodie gained the puck at his point position and unloaded a rocket of a slap shot that found the mark through the maze of players crashing the net.
From there, it was all about the Flames hanging on for the win, and Talbot stood strong. He came up with his biggest stop of the night against Tyler Seguin with four minutes left in regulation.
That said, the Stars had no shortage of missed opportunities. Indicative of the night, Seguin blasted a shot off the post two minutes into the game and then Alexander Radulov missed an open net immediately after.
Khudobin stopped 21 shots for the Stars.
The Flames prevailed despite missing their leading point producer from the regular season in winger Matthew Tkachuk. Tkachuk was injured in Game 3, left the game three times, and did not return after exiting in the third period.
--Field Level Media