After a stunning performance by Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger, stopping 64 of 67 shots on goal, the Flames edged the Stars 3-2 in Game 7 OT Sunday night in Calgary.
After Tyler Seguin was called for hooking at 5:08, the Stars held off a power play followed by a flurry of shots at Oettinger before Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau finally slipped one past the Dallas netminder for the series winner at 15:09.
"You go into overtime with Jake, you know it's going to take a perfect shot to beat him, and it was a perfect shot," Stars coach Rick Bowness said. "Johnny made a great shot, right under the bar. You can't do anything about that."
JAKE OETTINGER SETS FRANCHISE RECORD
The 64 saves by Oettinger should put him No. 2 all-time for Game 7 saves behind the Islanders Kelly Hrudey who made 73 saves against the Washington Capitals in four overtimes on April 18, 1987. Oettinger set a franchise record for the most stops in a Game 7.
"He played a hell of a game," Stars captain Jamie Benn said. "I haven't seen too many like that. I mean, if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't even have been close to overtime or having a chance to win."
Benn and Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Stars, who praised the 23-year-old Oettinger for his performance.
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"Just keep your head up," Oettinger said his teammates told him. "Obviously, it's sad and some of those guys you don't know if you're going to play with them ever again, so it's a really tough pill to swallow."
Bowness called Oettinger "a franchise goalie, no question."
REGULATION ENDS TIED 2-2
Sixty minutes in Game 7 wasn't enough time to get a winner Sunday night and at the end of regulation the game was tied 2-2.
The Flames outshot Dallas 17-8 in the first period, but the Stars led 1-0 on Benn's goal 40 seconds into the game. Seguin was at the side of the net when he fed Benn in the mid-slot and the Stars captain beat Jacob Markstrom stick side.
The Flames' Tyler Toffoli tipped in Oliver Kylington's shot from the boards just inside the blue line at 1:46 of the second period to make it 1-1.
Dallas regained the lead 31 seconds later when Namestnikov one-timed a wrist shot past Markstrom.
The Flames tied it at 2 in the second period on Matthew Tkachuk's goal a second after a minor penalty by Dallas expired. Markstrom head-manned the puck to Gaudreau, who dished to Tkachuk for a sharp-angled shot to the top corner at 8:44.
"They played us so hard and made us earn every inch," Tkachuk said. "It was one of the best feelings I've had in hockey when that went in for Johnny."
Oettinger stopped Gaudreau on his doorstep near the 11-minute mark of the third, followed by Markstrom turning away Jacob Petersen on a breakaway.
Calgary outshot Dallas 52-23 over three periods, but the score was deadlocked heading into the first overtime period of the series.
Dallas' Oettinger stopped 50 of 52 shots through the first three periods. The Flames' Markstrom stopped 21 of 23 shots at the other end of the ice.
BATTLE OF ALBERTA STARTS WEDNESDAY
The Flames will face the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference's semifinal in the first postseason Battle of Alberta since 1991. The series opens Wednesday in Calgary.
"I've been here for nine years and never had even a sniff of a chance to play them in playoffs, so it's pretty special," Gaudreau said. "It's going to be a lot of fun, good for the province, going to be a lot of fun for them, for us. It's going to be a pretty cool series."