The match between the Calgary Flames and the Dallas Stars will wrap up Thursday’s action in the NHL playoffs. Calgary aims for another victory after being successful in the opening match of the tie. Dallas played well in Game 1, but they failed to stun the rivals and grab an early advantage in the series.
The hosts managed to return to the winning track and secure the lead in the tie after the first match. However, they search for a more convincing display to avoid possible troubles on Thursday evening. On the other hand, Dallas almost succeeded in its intention to move the action to the neutral zone. Nevertheless, they will search for their first win in the series in this game.
Calgary Flames – Can they defend the home-ice advantage?
The Flames got away from the first match with a narrow 1-0 win that saw them take the lead in this series. Although the hosts have a strong offense, they couldn’t do much against disciplined Dallas. Nevertheless, it turned out that Elias Lindholm’s goal in the 5th minute of the first period was enough for the home side to clinch a victory. We saw a quite physical match since both teams had 30 penalty minutes each. There was a little action in front of both goals, and Calgary fired only 26 shots in Game 1. However, they will look forward to improving their finishing to be more confident in this encounter.
Johnny Gaudreau logged one assist in the series opener, while Rasmus Andersson had 15 penalty minutes for the Flames. It was a different type of game than we got used to when Calgary plays. Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau produced more than 100 pts in the regular season each, but the Stars managed to neutralize them as much as possible on Tuesday evening. Regarding the goaltending, Jacob Markstrom stopped all 16 attempts from Dallas’s skaters.
Expected Line-Up: Jacob Markstrom, Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin, Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm, Johnny Gaudreau
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Dallas Stars – Will they remain solid in the back?
The Stars knew they had the best chance for a positive result if they held off their opponents far from the danger zone. Actually, they managed to do that, but even though they conceded just once, they suffered a defeat. Dallas was so focused on the defensive action that they had only 16 shots toward the opposition’s goalie. Therefore, they need to try snatching their chances since they won’t have much activity on the away ice, especially when knowing that they are 0-4 in their previous four road games.
Dallas players served 30 penalty minutes on Tuesday evening, and only John Klingberg had 15. The Stars’ offensive charts are still empty, and the visitors hope they can improve the situation in the upcoming game. They won 22 faceoffs and had only 20 hits in Game 1. Nevertheless, they shouldn’t give up on their defensive style of play since Calgary’s offense is lethal when they have enough space to show their talent. Jake Oettinger had a good display between the pipes, but his .962 save percentage and just one goal conceded were not enough for Dallas to snatch a victory.
Expected Line-Up: Jake Oettinger, Ryan Suter, Esa Lindell, Joe Pavelski, Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin
Expert Pick #1 – Under 5.5 @-110
It’s going to be another tight battle, and we shouldn’t see much action in attacking zones from both teams. Dallas will try to keep their opponents far enough from their goal and surprise them. Another low-scoring game is expected, and I’ll take the Under as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Stars Under 2.5 @-150
Consequently, I don’t see Dallas producing more than two goals in this encounter. They had only 16 shots in Game 1, and we should see a similar approach from the visitors. The Stars will be more focused on defending their net in this game as well, and this will be my second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Dallas Stars +1.5 @-125
Nevertheless, Calgary shouldn’t be more convincing than in the opening clash. Dallas made the hosts adapt their style of play, and since this is playoffs, I see another tight game. The Stars shouldn’t lose by more than a goal, and I’ll take this pick as my second alternative.