CALGARY — The Calgary Flames said they were dissatisfied with the way they played the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round on Wednesday, especially in the second period.
They took nine shots on goal in the second and trailed 1-0 behind striker Jason Robertson scored at 13:21. The Stars were playing their suffocating defense to perfection.
Another march was required if the Flames were to find a way in the third period.
“A lot of guys came up and talked in the room,” Calgary forward Michael Backlund saying. “The message was clear: Let’s put the period behind us and go out there and play our game, let’s play the way we can, create. Let’s just get back to our game and check our chances. That’s when we’re at our best, and that’s what we did in the third.
In fact they did. The Flames bounced back with three unanswered goals for a 3-1 victory at the Scotiabank Saddledome. It was the first time Calgary had won a Stanley Cup playoff game when it was trailing entering the third period since 2015, a 4-3 overtime victory against the Anaheim Ducks in the 2015 Western Conference second round after from being down 3-2.
Wednesday’s win gave the Flames a 3-2 lead in this best-of-7 series. They’ll return to Dallas, where they’ll have a chance to eliminate the All-Stars in Game 6 at the American Airlines Center on Friday (9:00 p.m.). 30 p.m. ET; TNT, CBC, TVAS, SN, BSSW).
[RELATED: Complete Flames vs. Stars series coverage]
Backlund scored the tying goal 6:49 into the third period and ahead Andres Mangiapane, following an assist from Backlund, scored the goal’s goal at 10:38. Forward Trevor Lewis he scored a goal on an empty goal with 58 seconds remaining.
“We weren’t close to our best. [in the second]. I don’t know why, but yeah, they play a tight game,” Backlund said. “It’s been a tight series the whole five games. If we are not at our best, we are not going to create and play in the rest zone and be a better team. So, they are a very good team.
“That’s the thing, if we’re not on our toes and playing the best way we can, it’s going to be in their favor.”
Backlund had a solid scoring opportunity on a smack shot 11 seconds into the third period. star goalkeeper jake oettinger he made the save, but the Flames controlled the pace of the game. After getting 16 shots on goal in the first two periods, Calgary outshot Dallas 16-5 in the third.
Looking for a spark, Flames coach Darryl Sutter changed his front lines. The most striking change occurred in the second line, where blake coleman moved up to join Mangiapane and Backlund. On Backlund’s goal, Coleman, who won the Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning the previous two seasons, brought the puck into the area and passed it to Mangiapane, who passed Backlund up front.
“Blake was very into the game,” Sutter said. “That just shows those guys, the pedigree that’s been there did that.”
The Flames certainly weren’t where they wanted to be at the start of the game, but they ended up playing their style again. They have two chances to reach the second round for the first time since 2015, starting with Game 6 on Friday. But they will have to look similar to how they did in the third quarter on Wednesday.
“Starting from that third period and just playing our game, playing with confidence and not deviating from our system,” Mangiapane said. “We’re a good team when all four lines work, all three pairs, and now we have to keep wearing down and playing our game.”