Dallas Stars First Round Playoff Reactions: Game Two

CALGARY, AB - MAY 05: Dallas Stars Right Wing Alexander Radulov (47) gets ready to take a face-off during the first period of game 2 of the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Calgary Flames and the Dallas Stars on May 5, 2022, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Dallas Stars’ 2-0 win over Calgary is a testament to their defense and goaltending. Everything played out perfect for Dallas in Game Two, from a Joe Pavelski tip-in in the first period to Jake Oettinger posting his first career postseason shutout. Game Two established that this series will be tight, and every goal is crucial. Here are the reactions to Game Two of the Stars vs. the Flames.

The Good

Seriously, everything was good. The defense didn’t let up too many chances, Oettinger made saves when he needed to, and the offense at least scored. The beginning of the first was like a game of tennis. Each team volleyed the puck back and forth with little penetration on either end. The Shots were 3-2 in favor of Dallas when Pavelski scored the game’s first goal at 7:47.

The Stars won a battle on the boards and sent the puck out to center ice. The puck was sent into the corner and banked to the right side of the zone. Noah Hanafin and Jani Hakanpaa fought over possession, then Jason Robertson collected the puck near the blue line. Robertson passed to Pavelski, who skated into the slot unopposed. Pavelski found room over the right arm of Jacob Markstrom, giving Dallas their first goal in the series.

After going up by one, the Stars began to cycle the puck into the Calgary zone. The Flames pushed hard but ultimately finished the period down 1-0. The Second period ended with Dallas outshooting Calgary 17-16. The Stars and Flames struggled in scoring chances for a second straight game due to penalties. Four offsetting penalties were called between the first and second periods, causing the game to go four-on-four. It was hard for both teams to rack up time in the opposing zone.

“Not a lot of room out there,” coach Rick Bowness said after the game. “There’s not a lot of room for them or us. You’ve got to work for everything you get.”

The Stars and Flames both went 0-2 on the powerplay, and Dallas is 0-7 with the man advantage this series.

Heroes

Jake Oettinger, again, was the standout player for Dallas. His 29 saves helped him post his first career playoff win and his first playoff shutout. Oettinger made crucial saves throughout the game, but his best came on a Flames’ flurry late in the third period. The Stars were on the penalty kill after Tyler Seguin tripped Dillion Dube. Oettinger made tough saves against Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm, two of Calgary’s best scorers.

Oettinger also shined during the four-on-four moments. With fewer players on the ice, the game felt like regular-season overtime, which is littered with two-on-one and breakaway chances. He turned aside everything Calgary threw at him anyway.

“The only thing that matters is wins,” Oettinger said. “They have a great goalie on the other end, and we know it’s going to be tight, so the margin for error for me is very slim.”

Joe Pavelski’s goal is worth a highlight as well. The 37-year-old scoring machine didn’t make his first goal of the playoffs flashy, but it was enough to fend off the Flames. Bowness separated his top line of Pavelski, Robertson, and Roope Hintz for Game One, and it was disastrous for the team. Robertson and Pavelski played Game Two on a line together, and it finally generated some offense for the Stars. Maybe the top line reunites in Game Three, and the Stars can score more often the rest of the way.

John Klingberg

Klingberg has been weird to follow throughout the series. As much as he does right, he will fumble a puck and create an odd-man rush. The crowd has targeted him, who rain down boos whenever he touches the puck, and Matthew Tkachuk and Rasmus Andersson constantly try to fight him.

My verdict on him is still out. I think I notice him more whenever he is out of position, loses the puck in his own zone, or falls over to give the Flames a scoring chance. He was awesome on defense at times in Game Two, breaking up two-on-ones and creating turnover in the neutral zone.

A cloud still surrounds him after rumbles that he requested a trade back in January, but he and the team came to an understanding that he will not be traded. This offseason, Klingberg is set to become a free agent and became frustrated when long-term contracts were handed out to Esa Lindell, Ryan Suter, and Miro Heiskanen.

What’s Next?

The Stars and Flames will face off in Game Three on Saturday night as the series goes to Dallas. Both goaltenders have posted a shutout, and we’re only three games into the series. No other series has been this close, and the Stars hope to gain the 2-1 edge tomorrow night.

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