The Dallas Stars won Game 5 against the Calgary Flames to take a 3-2 series lead. Photo Courtesy: @DallasStars (Twitter).
- The Stars held on despite a late flurry from the Flames to win Game 5, taking a 3-2 series lead
- Anton Khudobin made 28 saves for Dallas and his teammates blocked 20 more shots
- Game 6 goes Thursday (time TBD); is Calgary a good bet with its season on the line?
The Dallas Stars are one game away from moving on to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and sending the Calgary Flames home.
In a tight-checking, low-scoring affair that saw both teams hit plenty of posts, the Stars were able to grind out a 2-1 win, taking a 3-2 series lead in the process. On Thursday, Dallas will have a chance to close things out and move on to the second round. Puck drop is still to be determined, but it is likely to be the evening game on Aug. 20.
Stars vs Flames Game 6 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Puckline||Total at DraftKings|
|Dallas Stars||-129||-1 (+138)||Over 5 (-134)|
|Calgary Flames||+111||+1 (-165)||Under 5 (+110)|
Odds as of Aug. 18th.
As the Stars’ offense has improved and the Flames offense has faltered, the series has shifted Dallas’ way. Calgary continues to face longer odds after they dropped to +113 ahead of Game 5. The series has been tight, though, with four of five games being decided by one goal.
In terms of the Stars vs Flames odds for the series, the better they’ve played, the more things have favored the Stars. This series opened as a pick’em, and Dallas is now viewed firmly as the favorite, only needing to win one of the final two games.
2020 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
Flames Dominate Third Period vs Stars
Going back to the Game 5 preview, and even before that, we’ve made a big deal about the Flames’ analytics. That’s because they haven’t been good.
Offensively, Dallas has dominated at every turn the past four games, except in the third period of Game 5 when Calgary was in desperation mode. Did the Flames use the last bullet in their chamber?
Flames’ Third Period Comparison
|15||Scoring Chances For||7|
|6||High-Danger Chances For||0|
In terms of pressure, the Flames certainly applied that to the Stars despite surrendering the only goal of the period.
But like the Stars in Game 1, they didn’t generate enough quality chances.
2 posts in this period … 😧
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) August 18, 2020
Calgary controlled possession for the final frame, and surpassed their two-period total for shots. But they didn’t generate more quality scoring chances, and in an odd twist, finished with no chances from high-danger areas. They also hit at least two posts.
Stars Getting More from Benn
While he’s not dominating, the Stars are getting way more from Jamie Benn than they had been.
The revitalized duo of Benn and Tyler Seguin have quickly changed the outlook of this series for Dallas.
Jamie Benn: Round Robin vs 1st Round
Benn has been bringing it the last two games, recording 11 of his 15 shots in the last 6.5 periods.
That’s one way to get on the board 😂#GoStars pic.twitter.com/d8iFqQ3kIG
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) August 18, 2020
His Corsi and Fenwick dipped a bit in Game 5, but he was in the high 60s for both in the three previous games. He’s also generated 18 high-danger chances in his last four games.
Gaudreau and Monahan Still MIA for Flames
It has definitely been a tough series for two of the Flames’ key offensive pieces.
Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan continued to scuffle in Game 5. They combined for four shots, a minus-two rating, five giveaways, and one takeaway.
Geoff Ward says he thought his team was nervous in the first period. It was the first time he had seen that and he thinks it was the fear of losing and then having to face an elimination game.
If that makes them nervous, Thursday could be a real issue. It IS an elimination game.
— Darren Haynes (@DarrenWHaynes) August 19, 2020
Both were coming off of two-point efforts in Game 4, so the hope was that they were rediscovering the spark they found against Winnipeg. Unfortunately they were quiet once again.
Can Stars Close Out Flames Thursday?
The over continues to sit at a tantalizing five. While it didn’t hit on Tuesday, two games have hit and one was a push. Dallas is pushing the pace more than usual, seeming to recognize Calgary is the more fatigued team.
In terms of the series, the Stars have continued to overpower the Flames. Dallas had out-shot Calgary 26-14 in Game 5 before the Flames woke up, which follows the script they laid out the previous two games.
Expect Dallas to move on Thursday night and send Calgary packing.
The Pick: Dallas Stars (-129); OVER 5 (-134)
Bryan has spent the last decade working in the sports industry. He can be found conducting sideline interviews for SKY Sports and gathering post-match reactions for BBC. The sportcaster’s broadcasts stream on CBC Sports, Game TV, and Premier TV in the UK.