If there’s one thing the Calgary Flames have learned, it’s to not count out the Dallas Stars.
The Stars tied the score with 11.9 seconds left in regulation on Joe Pavelski’s third goal and won 5-4 on Alexander Radulov’s overtime deflection Sunday in Game 4, evening the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
Game 5 is Tuesday afternoon in Edmonton.
“That was a wild game, you don’t see that a lot,” Stars interim coach Rick Bowness said. “But you know what, I was telling the coaches after, that was fun to be part of. There’s a lot of downers as a coach, but when the game is going like that and there’s a lot of passion, man, you’ve got to enjoy the moment.”
The Stars also won Game 2 by a 5-4 margin, on Jamie Oleksiak’s goal with 40 seconds left.
“Our belief, our confidence, our depth, our trust in our whole team,” Stars forward Tyler Seguin said when asked what are the keys to the late victories. “It might take a full 60 minutes and change. That’s just our identity. There’s a lot of confidence and a lot of belief in here.”
Pavelski had the first playoff hat trick of his 14-year career, but Bowness talked more after the game about a blocked shot by the veteran forward.
“You’re seeing the goal, but do you know what was just as important? That blocked shot,” Bowness said. “That’s how you win hockey games, those little things that maybe go unnoticed to the public. But the bench sees it, we see it.”
The Stars appeared to have tied the score with 2:29 left in regulation, but that goal was waved off after a video review for goalie interference.
“We’re in the moment, it’s a big game, and we’re trying to win,” Pavelski said. “There’s some different things that happened, us giving up the short-handed goal again and things like that. It doesn’t really matter if you stay in the moment and you understand you’re going to get another chance to tie this game up. That’s what this group did today. It was kind of an attitude that we were going to find a way to win. It took a while, but there was never a sense that we weren’t going to win once we got to overtime.”
Sam Bennett had two goals and an assist for the Flames and Cam Talbot made 57 saves, the second most in a playoff game in franchise history.
“It’s just a short memory,” Bennett said. “We have to take what we can and move on. It’s 2-2. It’s two good teams going at it. This is playoffs, and it’s exciting hockey. We’re not going to dwell on it. Obviously, we would’ve liked to win that and go up 3-1, but 2-2, we’re in a perfectly good situation here.”
Added Flames captain Mark Giordano: “It was a back-and-forth game in overtime. We had some looks. Unfortunately, we had a broken stick and it gave them possession and they capitalized. It was a good game. We’ve got to take what we have to out of it and move on. It’s 2-2. Best-of-three now. It’s a tight series. It’s been really tight all series. It’ll continue to be that way, I’m sure.”
–Field Level Media