Stars take 3-2 series lead after a close Game 5 vs. Flames

The Stars have controlled the pace (and puck) for much of their First Round series against the Flames, and Dallas got rewarded for its hard work in Game 5. The Stars found a way to grind a 2-1 win over the Flames in Game 5, giving Dallas a 3-2 series lead.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Stars impose their will over Flames, Dallas leads 3-2 after Game 5

Consider Jamie Benn‘s shorthanded goal something of a symbol of the Stars’ frequent dominance of the Flames. Benn couldn’t be stopped — even by the net — as Dallas imposes its will over Calgary more often than not.

Mikael Backlund managed a very nice goal for the Flames’ only tally, and even then, it was sort of a one-and-done chance. Calgary rarely got much going against a smothering, aggressive Stars defense.

Speaking of the Stars defense, John Klingberg made another big play. This time, Klingberg was credited with a goal, which stood as the game-winner:

The Flames did their best to find answers, including mixing up top-line partners for Johnny Gaudreau, who rarely found time and space against the snug Stars defense. The Stars generated a 26-12 shots on goal advantage through the first two periods, then were rewarded for their gritty play when Klingberg scored against the Flames early in the third period.

From there, the Flames finally generated some chances. Calgary managed a 15-6 SOG edge during the final frame. Could some of that have boiled down to the Stars being satisfied with a lead? Could be, as it seemed like the Flames didn’t threaten Anton Khudobin in many major ways.

Honestly, if the Flames want to survive this series against the Stars, they’re going to need to shift the balance of this First Round series. In a lot of ways, the Flames are lucky the Stars are only up 3-2 in this series after Game 5. That luck seems to be running out.

No. 3 Dallas Stars vs. No. 6 Calgary Flames (CGY leads series 3-2)

Tuesday, Aug. 11: Flames 3, Stars 2 (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 13: Stars 4, Flames 4 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 14: Flames 2, Stars 0 (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 16: Stars 5, Flames 4 (OT) (recap)
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Stars 2, Flames 1
Thursday, Aug. 20: Dallas at Calgary – TBD
*Saturday, Aug. 22: Dallas at Calgary – TBD

*if necessary

MORE STANLEY CUP COVERAGE:
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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