Gaudreau, Flames eliminate Stars with OT victory in Game 7

CALGARY – Johnny Gaudreau scored at 15:09 of overtime, and the Calgary Flames eliminated the Dallas Stars with a 3-2 win in Game 7 of the Western Conference First Round at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

Gaudreau shot short side on Jake Oettinger after he made an initial save on Elias Lindholm‘s chance in the slot.

“It came right down to the end there in Game 7 in overtime,” said Gaudreau, the third player in Flames history to score in overtime of a Game 7. “You dream about stuff like that, scoring in a Game 7 in overtime.

“I was just trying to put it on net. I mean, throughout the whole series, most of the time you put it on net it’s not going in against this kid. I got a good look, and it went over his shoulder there. “

Oettinger made 64 saves, becoming the second goalie to make 60 or more saves in a Game 7 since 1955, when shots on goal were first tracked (Kelly Hrudey, 73, New York Islanders, 1987 Eastern Division Semifinals).

“He played a [heck] of a game, “Dallas captain Jamie Benn said. “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. He’s a phenomenal young goalie. He’s going to be great for this organization for a long time. “

[RELATED: Complete Flames vs. Stars series coverage]

Calgary will play the Edmonton Oilers in the second round. It will be the sixth postseason edition of the ‘Battle of Alberta,’ and the first in 31 years.

“I’ve been here for nine years and never had even a sniff of a chance to play them in the playoffs,” Gaudreau said. “It’s pretty special and it’ll be a lot of fun. It’s going to be good for the province. It’s going to be fun for them, for us. It’s going to be a pretty cool series.”

Video: DAL @ CGY, Gm7: Gaudreau scores the Game 7 winner in OT

Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each had a goal and an assist, and Jacob Markstrom made 26 saves for the Flames, the No. 1 seed in the Pacific Division.

“It was such a hard series to win,” Tkachuk said. “It feels very good, but we do not want to stop there.”

Oettinger’s saves were an NHL career high and he set a franchise record for the Stars, the first wild card in the West. He also made 50 saves in a 4-1 loss in Game 4.

“Everyone played their hearts out,” Dallas coach Rick Bowness said. “As a coach, that’s all you can ask. Your players give you everything they’ve got, and I’m proud of the effort they gave tonight. I’m proud of the way we battled. They were a better team in the regular season, and they played well tonight. Give them credit. “

Benn scored on Dallas’ first shot 40 seconds into the first period for a 1-0 lead when he beat Markstrom from the slot on a setup by Tyler Seguin. Benn’s goal is the fifth-fastest from the start of a Game 7 in NHL history.

Oettinger blockedered away Dillon Dube‘s shot on a 2-on-1 rush at 15:03, and made a glove save on Tkachuk off the rush at 18:30.

“He’s been unreal all playoffs,” Stars defenseman John Klingberg said. “I honestly haven’t seen a better performance from a goalie, so he should be proud of himself.”

Tyler Toffoli tied it 1-1 when he tipped Oliver Kylington‘s point shot by Oettinger for his first goal of the series 1:46 into the second period.

Video: DAL @ CGY, Gm7: Oettinger stands on head in Game 7

Vladislav Namestnikov put the Stars up 2-1 at 2:17, and Tkachuk tied it 2-2 at 8:44 when he swept a Gaudreau pass short side by Oettinger’s glove.

Oettinger made a glove save on Gaudreau’s dash at 18:09 and turned away a Gaudreau wrist shot at 19:58. He made a right pad save on Gaudreau at the edge of the crease at 10:49 of the third period, and Markstrom stopped Jacob Peterson on a breakaway at 12:35.

Calgary outshot Dallas 17-8 in the first period, 43-12 after two periods, and 52-23 after three. The Flames also had a 15-5 shot advantage in overtime.

“We peppered him so much. One had to have gone in for us,” Tkachuk said. “Guys worked so hard. I said it this morning, I think that way we’re conditioned wears teams down. We’re built for a Game 7 type of game.”

NOTES: Ben Bishop held the Dallas playoff record with 52 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 7 against the St. Louis Blues in the second round in 2019.… Calgary is 6-7 in Game 7s, including 3-4 at home. … It was Toffoli’s fourth career goal in a Game 7. Among active players, only Patrice Bergeron (6) and Paul Stastny (5) have more. … Flames coach Darryl Sutter is 5-0 in his past five Game 7s. He’s won eight Game 7s in total, the most among all head coaches and tied for the most in NHL history, including head coaches, skaters and goalie. … Stars center Roope Hintz did not play because of a reaction to treatment for an oblique injury, according to Bowness. … Dallas was also without forward Luke Glendening (lower body) and lost forward Radek Fax at 15:19 of the second period because of an upper-body injury. … Flames defenseman Christopher Tanev did not play because of an undisclosed injury. … The plus-39 shot differential (67-28) is the largest in NHL history for a Game 7 and the second largest for any playoff game.

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