3 Keys: Flames vs. Stars, Game 2 of Western First Round

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No. 6 Flames vs. No. 3 Stars

10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, FS-SW

Calgary leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

Goalie Ben Bishop could start for the Dallas Stars against the Calgary Flames in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Thursday.

Bishop backed up Anton Khudobin in Game 1, won 3-2 by the Flames on Tuesday in Edmonton, the West hub city.

Stars coach Rick Bowness did not confirm the starter Thursday morning.

“[Bishop] is very good at handling the pressure that comes with playoff games,” Bowness said. “He knows how good of an athlete he is. The athletic ability speaks for itself. The mental toughness speaks for itself. And that ability to handle the moment and embrace the moment is what makes him very, very unique.”

Bishop was 21-16-4 with a 2.50 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and two shutouts in 44 games (43 starts) during the regular season. He played one game in the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, allowing four goals on 32 shots in a 5-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Aug. 3.

Goalie Cam Talbot is expected to start or the Flames after making 24 saves in Game 1.

Teams that take a 2-0 lead are 324-51 (86.4 percent) winning a best-of-7 NHL playoff series.

Here are 3 keys to Game 2:

 

1. Seguin production

Tyler Seguin led the Stars with 50 points (17 goals, 33 assists) in 69 regular-season games but has been held without a point and is minus-5 in three postseason games. He had three shot attempts in Game 1 and all of them missed the net.

“In the playoffs you score greasy goals,” Bowness said. “We have to make sure it’s not only Tyler but it’s all our players sticking our nose in there and being hungrier around the net. We were there last game. I thought we got pushed out a few too many times too easily. That’s not just Tyler; that’s the whole team. We addressed that.”

 

2. Weather the push

The Flames are expecting a bigger push from a Stars team they believe will be desperate to even the series. It’ll be up to the Flames to manage the momentum they do have and not turn anything over to the Stars, especially early in Game 2.

“We know what’s coming,” Calgary forward Sean Monahan said. “They’re going to come out pushing and we have to have a response right away. We want to be riding our momentum. That starts from the drop of the puck.”

 

3. Dallas defensive depth

Stars defenseman Taylor Fedun will enter the lineup in place of Stephen Johns, who did not return for the third period of Game 1 after playing 10:02 in the first and second. Fedun last played Jan. 11.

“This is a tough challenge for [Fedun] but we’re very confident he can come in and do the job for us,” Bowness said. “Whether it’s 10, 12, 14 minutes, that remains to be seen. That depends on how the flow of the game is going. Regardless of his minutes, we know he’ll be ready and he’ll give us 100 percent.”

 

Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau — Sean Monahan — Elias Lindholm

Andrew MangiapaneMikael BacklundMatthew Tkachuk

Milan LucicSam BennettDillon Dube

Mark JankowskiDerek RyanTobias Rieder

Mark GiordanoTJ Brodie

Noah HanifinRasmus Andersson

Derek ForbortErik Gustafsson

Cam Talbot

David Rittich

Scratched: Austin Czarnik, Byron Froese, Alan Quine, Zac Rinaldo, Buddy Robinson, Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone, Juuso Valimaki, Alexander Yelesin, Jon Gillies, Artyom Zagidulin

Unfit to play: None

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn — Tyler Seguin — Alexander Radulov

Mattias JanmarkJoe PavelskiDenis Gurianov

Roope HintzJason DickinsonCorey Perry

Andrew CoglianoRadek FaksaBlake Comeau

Esa LindellJohn Klingberg

Jamie OleksiakMiro Heiskanen

Andrej Sekera — Taylor Fedun

Ben Bishop

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Nick Caamano, Ty Dellandrea, Justin Dowling, Joel Kiviranta, Jason Robertson, Gavin Bayreuther, Joel Hanley, Thomas Harley, Landon Bow, Jake Oettinger

Unfit to play: Stephen Johns

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