The Dallas Stars look to bounce back in Game 5 on Wednesday night after dropping Game 4 to the Calgary Flames 4-1, tying the series 2-2.
Stars Are Confident They Can Win in Calgary
The Stars have won two games in Calgary this season, one in the regular season and the second coming last week in Game 2. The series is now tied 2-2, so Game 5 will be a crucial swing for whichever team comes out on top. For the other, it will be do-or-die from that point on.
“We’ve gone a couple of times in there this year, it’s a hostile environment,” Tyler Seguin said. “The momentum is huge in this series. We’ve had it, they’ve had it and it’s our time to respond”
For Dallas, they will look to completely flip the script that we saw on Monday night. The Stars were sloppy and unable to create enough high-danger chances. However, the real issues came in their own end where Calgary dominated, pumping 54 shots and four goals at the Stars net.
“I think we set a good standard for ourselves [in Games 1-3] and I think that has got to be the bar going forward for us,” Jani Hakanpaa said through a fat lip. “We have to at least get to that level and then go from there. Once you get to the playoffs, it’s all about getting better as the series goes along. I think we’re up to it.”
Dallas Needs More From Robertson
Jason Robertson led the Stars with 41 goals during the regular season. He also finished second on the team with 79 points. So far in his first postseason, however, he has been held to just one assist and has looked a bit intimidated and off through four games.
“It’s playoffs; I knew it was going to be harder,” Robertson said. “I’m still trying to find spots and get shots, but I’ve got to do more for myself.”
Keep in mind, this is a 22-year-old player who burst into the league during the wild 2020-21 season. He is playing his first playoff hockey and his team has full confidence that he will overcome this mini-slump. All season long, Robertson has shown that he can respond to just about every challenge that this league can throw his way.
“Every year is a little different,” Pavelski said. “We have a lot of confidence in Robo. He’s a kid that’s smart, good with the puck, and should have confidence to be playing this time of year. He is a big part of this team and you expect big things from him, and it will come out.”
The Stars top line has not been great overall. They tallied the only goal (non-empty netter) in Game 2, tallied three goals (Pavelski with two, Hintz with the empty netter) in Game 3, and were held off the scoresheet completely in Game 4. In the third period, Rick Bowness split up the trio for the first time in a long time in order to create some more offense. It is possible that he keeps them apart to start Game 5 but they will likely be reunited at some point.
“Well, in four games, we’ve got two empty netters, two power plays, and Pavs has two goals,” Rick Bowness said. “That’s not going to win the series, simple as that. We need to get some balance and we have been fighting with it all year. But now that you are down to the nitty-gritty of the whole thing, it just raises the importance of getting more scoring.”
- Jake Oettinger will start for the fifth straight playoff game
- It is likely that Denis Gurianov will be a healthy scratch and Jacob Peterson will come into the lineup for his first career playoff game
He Said It
“It’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how many times you get back up, so you’ve got to have that in the back of your head and keep going,” Hakanpaa said.
Sam Nestler is a credentialed Dallas Stars contributor for the ‘The Hockey Writers’. Growing up in New Jersey, Sam has been playing hockey since he was 7 years old. Developing a love for writing in college, Sam uses his hockey knowledge to create analyses and articles on every aspect of the game. Sam also hosts his own podcast on Spotify, the “Slapshot Sammy’ podcast, breaking down action across the Stars, the NHL, and college hockey. Check out the podcast here, and give his latest article a read!