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Backlund, Mangiapane lead Flames in 3-1 win over Stars to take series lead

CALGARY — Andrew Mangiapane and Mikael Backlund led a third-period surge by the Calgary Flames in Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars to take a 3-2 lead in their playoff series.
Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88) and goaltender Jacob Markstrom (25) celebrate defeating the Dallas Star after NHL first-round playoff series action on Wednesday May 11, 2022. Mangiapane scored the game winning goal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

CALGARY — Andrew Mangiapane and Mikael Backlund led a third-period surge by the Calgary Flames in Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars to take a 3-2 lead in their playoff series.

Mangiapane and Backlund each had a goal and an assist and Trevor Lewis added an empty-net goal for the Flames, who pushed the Stars to the brink of elimination in the best-of-seven conference quarterfinal.

Game 6 is Saturday in Dallas.

"It feels a lot better than if we were down, but we know it's going to be a really hard game" Backlund said.

"Of course, we feel confident and excited going there. It's a big game."

Game 7, if necessary, is Sunday back in Calgary.

Calgary goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 20 saves for the win. Jason Robertson scored the lone goal and Jake Oettinger stopped 29 shots for Dallas.

Calgary (50-21-11) topped the Pacific Division, while Dallas (46-30-6) entered the post-season via the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Both teams earned splits in each other's arenas to send the series to Calgary deadlocked at 2-2.

Their playoff series reverted to low-scoring at the Saddledome, where Calgary won 1-0 and lost 2-0 to start the series.

Dallas won 4-2 and lost 4-1 at American Airlines Arena.

The Stars didn't allow Calgary many clean exits from their own end, or entries into the offensive zone, with sound positional hockey for the first 40 minutes to lead 1-0.

But the line of Mangiapane, Backlund and Blake Coleman struck in the third for a 2-1 Flames lead.

"We knew they were going to come hard. We tried to minimize their speed to the neutral zone and we didn't and it cost us," Robertson said.

Backlund in the neutral zone fed a backhand pass to Mangiapane at the Stars' blue line.

Mangiapane took three strides in and whipped a high shot over Oettinger's glove at 13:20 to ignite the Saddledome.

"It was loud," Mangiapane said. "It was great even when Backs scored. You could hear the building erupt. I think the fans were waiting for a goal. Our whole team just fed off that energy from the fans."

Calgary drew even 1-1 at 6:49 of the third period when Mangiapane collected the puck from Coleman's drive to the net.

Mangiapane circled out from behind the goal-line and centered the puck for Backlund's redirect by Oettinger.

"I was screaming my emotions, too. I don't think anybody heard me," Backlund said. "I haven't scored much down the stretch here. It felt really good to put the puck in the net and such a big goal as well."

Robertson, a team-leading 41-goal man in the regular season, scored his first NHL playoff goal at 13:21 of the second period.

Stars head coach Rick Bowness had moved the 22-year-old off the top line alongside Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz to join Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

Robertson drove in from the boards and wristed a shot that deflected off Markstrom's glove and then off defenceman Noah Hanifin into Calgary's net.

The Stars didn't score on three power-play chances and were 2-for-20 in the series. Calgary went 0-for-2 on Wednesday and was 2-for-19.

Flames coach Darryl Sutter deployed 11 forwards and seven defenceman for a second straight game with Michael Stone remaining in the lineup for Brett Ritchie.

Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau took a deflected puck in the side of the head at the Stars' blue line late in the first period.

He went to the dressing room for treatment late in the period, but returned in the second period.

When a best-of-seven series is tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 holds an all-time series record of 219-58, according to NHL statisticians.

When the home team wins Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead, it closes out the series 80.7 per cent of the time (138-33). When the road team does so, it wins 76.4 per cent of the series (81-25).

"We're going to look at some stuff from this game and get ready for the next game and it's not over yet," Hintz said.

Bowness altered his Game 5 lineup, scratching forwards Denis Gurianov and Alexander Radulov.

Jacob Peterson, 22, made his NHL playoff debut and Marian Studenic, 23, drew in for his second game in the series.

Notes: With 92 career playoff wins, Sutter is two back of Pat Quinn for the sixth-most among NHL coaches . . . Joe Pavelski's 166th career playoff game surpassed Brian Rafalski for fifth in NHL history among U.S.-born skaters.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2022.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press