For the second game in a row, and second time in a week, the Dallas Stars have fallen to the Calgary Flames. Tonight’s 4-3 game yielded only a single-point loss, hinting at some improvement in the team’s play since Wednesday when the Stars lost to the Flames in Calgary, 7-4.
But the Stars’ two-goal lead made tonight’s loss that much harder to watch.
Despite a strong second period Stars offense that put Dallas up 3-1 over the Calgary Flames, a weak third period defense, stretched to the breaking point with an injury to defense man Trevor Daley, pushed the Flames to the tie over a matter of minutes, and finally to the win halfway through the final period.
The team’s youngsters continued to impress, with the Stars’ three goals coming from Reilly Smith, Cody Eakin and Ryan Garbutt. Richard Bachman, despite taking the night’s loss in goal, fought hard against a persistent Flames offense, lead by Mike Cammilleri, who scored first for the Flames. Bachman, primary goalie following Kari Lehtonen‘s injury Friday, faced 30 shots on goal and his performance tonight highlighted the issues the Stars face defensively. Overwhelming traffic and lackadaisical efforts in front of the net kept Bachman far busier than he should have been, and Cammilleri’s power play goal accented how severely the team as a whole relies on the man between the pipes.
Though the Flames’ starting goalie, Kiprusoff, wasn’t in net tonight, backup Joey Macdonald refused to perform at a lower standard, facing 26 total shots on goal, and faced serious congestion around the net when the Stars pulled Bachman with a minute left in the game.
Next up for the Stars is another battle with the Canucks here in Dallas. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night and will be shown on Fox Sports Southwest.
UPDATE: Cody Eakin’s first period goal has been credited to Antoine Roussel with assists from Eakin and Ryder.