Flames grind out Game 1 win against Stars

Flames Stars Game 1 Calgary wins Tkachuk Perry Khudobin
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When the Flames went up 2-0 in Game 1 against the Stars, it looked like it would be a blowout, or at least a flat, one-sided contest. Instead, the Stars made Game 1 close, but the Flames managed to hang on to win 3-2 and take a 1-0 series lead.

Flames beat Stars in Game 1; Tkachuk – Perry fight

Did the Stars sleepwalk a little into Game 1, or was this a matter of the Flames merely taking control? Either way, Dillon Dube dominated much of the early proceedings, scoring both of Calgary’s first-period goals, including a beauty for the 2-0 tally:

(That is not the sort of goal a defensive-minded team like the Stars can easily stomach.)

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Dube wasn’t always at the center of good things, mind you, as he delivered a bad cross-checking hit on Jason Dickinson in the first period. But Dube was buzzing early, and could really make the Flames dangerous if he’s a regular threat.

Speaking of threats, there was a bit of a pest war during the first period. Matthew Tkachuk fought with Corey Perry, almost acknowledging a passing-of-the-pest-torch:

(Frankly, the Stars would take the trade-off of both Perry and Tkachuk being off of the ice for five minutes each and every time.)

If nothing else, the Stars showed that they’re not just going to roll over. They tied things up with two goals just nine seconds apart during the middle frame:

Rasmus Andersson regained the Flames’ lead with a goal five minutes later, however.

From there, it was a grindy affair between the Flames and Stars. On most nights, you could call that the Stars’ type of game, but it wasn’t as useful in Game 1, being that the Flames never trailed. It’s not the greatest sign for the Stars that:

  • They kept Calgary’s top stars off of the board.
  • There weren’t many penalties in the game.
  • And they still couldn’t really muster much of an attack in the third period.

Dallas has to hope for a sharper start to Game 2, which takes place on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). Actually, the Stars might want a shaper finish, too. Maybe find a way to clone that second period effort? It will also be interesting to see if Ben Bishop can shake off whatever’s keeping him unfit to play, although Anton Khudobin was far from the Stars’ problem in Game 1.

No. 3 Dallas Stars vs. No. 6 Calgary Flames (Calgary leads series 1-0)

Tuesday, Aug. 11: Calgary 3, Dallas 2
Thursday, Aug. 13: Calgary at Dallas, 10:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Friday, Aug. 14: Dallas at Calgary, 10:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Sunday, Aug. 16: Dallas at Calgary, 2 p.m. ET – CNBC
*Tuesday, Aug. 18: Calgary at Dallas – TBD
*Thursday, Aug. 20: Dallas at Calgary – TBD
*Saturday, Aug. 22: Dallas at Calgary – TBD

MORE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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