Thursday, February 14, 2013
Calgary Flames 7, Dallas Stars 4
Stars play like garbage, somehow lose.
The Dallas Stars' uninterrupted streak of abysmal failure on the second game of back-to-backs continued Wednesday night in Calgary, as they lost 7-4 to the basement-dwelling Flames. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak and dropped Dallas to 7-6-1 on the year. Calgary improved to 4-4-3.
From the opening puck drop it was clear the Stars had no intention to compete in this game. Dallas backup goaltender Richard Bachman was repeatedly left out to dry by a confused and ineffective defense, allowing four goals on the first ten shots he faced and six overall. Calgary opened the scoring at 3:11 of the first when Jay Bouwmeester scooped up a puck near the crease and wristed it past Bachman and four Stars for his third goal of the season and an early 1-0 lead.
Three and a half minutes later, Jiri Hudler converted on an easy cross-ice pass on the powerplay to put Calgary up 2-0, and three minutes after that Michael Cammalleri, fresh off the injured list, scored his first of the season on the powerplay to make it 3-0 less than ten minutes into the game.
Dallas finally got on the board at 12:42 when Eric Nystrom took a pass from Vernon Fiddler and scored his second goal in as many nights, but Dallas' porous defense couldn't stop the bleeding and surrendered an easy goal to Roman Cervenka four minutes later to make it 4-1 heading into the first intermission.
Dallas struck early in the second when captain Brenden Morrow scored his second of the year 45 seconds in on the powerplay to make it 4-2. But much like with Dallas' first goal, the defense couldn't hold the Flames down and got caught chasing the puck in their own end. Cammalleri scored his second of the night to make it 5-2 on an effortless wrister from the slot when he was left completely uncovered by Morrow.
Morrow partially redeemed himself on the very next shift, taking a pass from a diving rookie defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and converting from close range for his second of the night and a 5-3 score. This time it took Calgary nearly eight full minutes to restore their three-goal lead, when Curtis Glencross tapped in the puck on a two-on-one breakaway at 12:01 to make it 6-3.
1:05 into the third, with the Stars on the powerplay, Dallas struck again when a slumping Michael Ryder skated behind the Calgary net and got a pass to a waiting Cody Eakin, who one-timed it from the slot for his first goal as a Dallas Star and a 6-4 game. The Stars, looking to make it a one-goal game, dominated play in the third. They outshot the Flames 14 to 5 but were unable to capitalize on some prime scoring chances. Cammalleri iced the game with an empty-net goal to record the hat trick and the 7-4 final score.
Bachmann was terrible in net, making just 16 saves on 22 shots and falling to 0-2-0 on the season. Flames goalie Leland Irving was slightly better playing behind a much more composed defense, stopping 30 of the 34 shots he faced.
Dallas next heads to Vancouver Friday night to finish their three-game road trip against the 8-2-2 Canucks.