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Playoff FGD: Flames hope to shine against Stars (8:30pm MT, SN/CBC)

Heading into Game 2 of their first round series with the Dallas Stars, the Calgary Flames are in a good position: leading the series 1-0. But with the lessons of last year’s first round defeat no doubt ringing in their collective ears, the Flames are hoping to build on that lead against Dallas in the first of back-to-back playoff games on back-to-back evenings. 36 hours of strong hockey could give the Flames a stranglehold on the series.

The puck drops for Game 2 at 8:30 p.m. MT on CBC and Sportsnet’s national feed (with Chris Cuthbert and Louie DeBrusk) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias).

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The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Mangiapane – Backlund – Tkachuk
Lucic – Bennett – Dube
Jankowski – Ryan – Rieder

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Andersson
Forbort – Gustafsson

No changes are expected for the Flames for Game 2 after they played pretty well in Game 1 (and won). Cam Talbot starts in net and is backed up by David Rittich. The projected extras are Zac Rinaldo, Austin Czarnik, Byron Froese, Alan Quine, Buddy Robinson, Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone, Juuso Valimaki, Alexander Yelesin, Jon Gillies and Artyom Zagidulin.

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The Flames were good, but not great, in Game 1 against Dallas. The good news is they allowed two goals in a nine second span to blow a 2-0 and took a late penalty while nursing a late lead….and didn’t lose. Rather than crumbling, the Flames just kept playing their game and ended up capturing a crucial Game 1 victory. The challenge will be to replicate that effort: they took a step back in Game 2 in the Qualifying Round after a superb Game 1 win over the Jets.

The depth players have been excellent for the Flames, but sooner or later the stars have to come out to play and make their (five-on-five) offensive presence known.

The Stars

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Benn – Seguin – Radulov
Janmark – Pavelski – Gurianov

Hintz – Dickinson – Perry
Comeau – Faksa – Cogliano

Lindell – Klingberg
Oleksiak – Heiskanen
Sekera – Fedun

Dallas hasn’t tipped off their goalie…again, but it’ll be either Anton Khudobin or Ben Bishop. Khudobin was rock-solid in Game 1 and definitely wasn’t the reason they lost. The projected extras are Nick Caamano, Jason Robertson, Justin Dowling, Joel Hanley, Gavin Bayreuther, Thomas Harley, Ty Dellandrea, Joel Kirivanta, Landon Bow and Jake Oettinger. Stephen Johns left Game 1 and Taylor Fedun is expected to play in his place.

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The Stars looked pretty ordinary in Game 1, a continuation of some rather flat play in the three round robin games. They’re a bit bruised – there’s no way Tyler Seguin is 100%, for instance – but they’ll need to find their battle level if they hope to make this a series. They looked slow in Game 1, and they cannot afford for a repeat performance in Game 2.

The Numbers

Flames Stars
Wins 4 1
Adjusted Corsi 50.9% 40.0%*
Power Play 33.3% 9.1%
Penalty Kill 89.5% 76.9%

*- The NHL’s shot data for the Dallas/St. Louis round robin game is hot garbage, so possession stats are only available for the other Dallas games.

Unfit to Play Report

The Flames are without D Travis Hamonic (opted out).

The Stars were healthy, allegedly, before Game 1, but D Stephen Johns (unfit to play) left the game and won’t play in Game 2.

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When Last We Met

The Flames beat Dallas 3-2 on Tuesday in Game 1. The game started several hours after Game 1 of Tampa Bay and Columbus and ended well before that game ended, too. Playoff hockey is fun.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight: