Pavelski scores twice for Stars in 4-2 win over Flames to take series lead

Joe Pavelski scored twice, including the game-winner, for the Dallas Stars in Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames to take a 2-1 lead in their playoff series.

Radek Faska also scored and Roope Hintz added an empty-net goal for the Stars. Goaltender Jake Oettinger made 39 saves for the win in front of a sellout of 18,532 at American Airlines Center

Trevor Lewis and Elias Lindholm replied for the Flames with Jacob Markstrom turning away 28 of 31 shots in Calgary’s net.

Read more: Calgary Flames’ Blake Coleman relishes post season homecoming

Game 4 in the best-of-seven affair is Monday in Dallas before returning to Calgary for Wednesday’s Game 5.

If necessary, Game 6 is Friday back in Dallas and a Game 7 would be Sunday in Calgary.

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The Flames opened the conference quarterfinal with a 1-0 win before falling 2-0 to the Stars at the Saddledome.

When a best-of-seven series is tied 1-1, the winner of Game 3 holds an all-time series record of 228-110 (.675), according to NHL statisticians.

The Flames (50-21-11) topped the Pacific Division and the Stars (46-30-6) earned the Western Conference’s first wild-card berth.

Read more: Goaltenders prominent in tight series between Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars

Pavelski scored his second of the game and the first power-play goal of the series for the Stars _ after going 0-for-11 _ at 10:05 of the third period for a 3-2 Stars lead.

Pavelski potted a rebound off a Vladislav Namestnikov shot for the 37-year-old’s third goal in the series. His 14th career playoff game-winner is the most among active NHL players, according to the Stars.

Oettinger denied Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau on a breakaway with less than four minutes remaining in the game.

Markstrom went to Calgary’s bench with 1:40 to go for an extra Flames attacker, but Calgary didn’t produce the equalizer.

Dallas trailing by a goal, Pavelski pulled the hosts even 2-2 at 11:41 of the second period.

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After Markstrom’s sprawling glove save on Stars defenceman Miro Heiskanen, Pavelski shovelled a rebound on a subsequent Heiskanen shot by Markstrom caught at his right post.

Pavelski’s goals were his first of the post-season at American Airlines Arena since he was signed by Dallas in 2019.

The Stars reached the Stanley Cup final in Edmonton’s 2020 playoff bubble where they lost in six games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Lindholm capped tic-tac-toe passing with a one-timer at 3:40 of the second period for a 2-1 Calgary lead.

Matthew Tkachuk, from the behind the net fed Gaudreau, who dished to Lindholm dropping to his knee to wire the puck past Oettinger.

Lewis and Milan Lucic combined on Calgary’s first goal at 13:45 of the period. Lewis batted in a rebound on a Lucic effort from Oettinger’s doorstep.

Dallas coach Rick Bowness was denied a challenge for goaltender interference by Lucic. The Stars killed off the ensuing minor penalty.

Faksa won the offensive-zone draw and then deflected Esa Lindell’s wrist shot by Markstrom for a four-on-four goal at 9:21.

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Flames defenceman Oliver Kylington had shot the puck off the far post a minute earlier.

Tkachuk and Stars defenceman John Klingberg continued their running feud in the series with a fight 82 seconds after the opening faceoff. They tangled and took coincidental minors less than a minute into Game 2.

Left-winger Marian Studenic drew into the Dallas lineup for Alex Radulov in Game 3. Bowness said he made the move for “fresh legs.”

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