NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, February 17th (All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (4-5-3) at Dallas Stars (8-6-1), 6 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars have been one of the hottest teams in February, winning six of eight to keep pace in the Pacific Division.
The Stars, though, return from a three-game trip through Western Canada without the services of injured goaltender Kari Lehtonen as they battle the Calgary Flames on Sunday night.
Lehtonen suffered a groin injury in Friday's 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Vancouver Canucks, exiting with 6:27 left in the first period. Lehtonen, who missed 12 games last season with a groin injury, is expected to be placed on injured reserve and Cristopher Nilstorp was recalled from the minors on Saturday.
Richard Bachman replaced Lehtonen, who has gone 7-2-1 with a 2.12 goals against average and .934 save percentage in 12 games this season, and gave up three goals in the second period, but ended with 18 saves to get the win.
"It's never easy nor fun coming in cold like that," Bachman said. "That's a good team with a lot of skill. They started buzzing, especially at the end of the second period. The building started rocking. You just try to stay calm and forget about everything that's going on."
The Vancouver crowd was eventually silenced as Cody Eakin scored with 2:10 left in the second period before Antoine Roussel scored at 12:22 of the third to tie the game. Defenseman Brenden Dillon netted the winner with 3:01 to play, putting home a feed from Jamie Benn for his third goal of the season.
"It was a great play by him," Dillon said. "We kind of had the puck in the zone there and I kind of saw an opening, a lane in the backdoor and it was a perfect pass right on my tape, and I was fortunate to pick the top shelf.
Reilly Smith also scored while Benn's assist extended his point streak to six games. He has four goals and five assists in that span.
Dallas has won five of its past six, with the lone loss in that span coming on Wednesday in Calgary, where the Stars were dealt a 7-4 defeat. Bachman gave up six goals on 22 shots in the setback and Brenden Morrow scored twice.
The Flames were paced by a four-goal first period and Mike Cammalleri's fifth career hat trick. He also had an assist, while Leland Irving yielded four goals on 34 shots.
Calgary improved to 6-1-2 in the past nine versus the Stars, but have lost two straight in Dallas.
The Flames had the tables turned on them Friday, yielding four first-period goals in a 5-2 setback to the St. Louis Blues.
Irving allowed two goals on four shots before getting pulled 4:07 into the game. Joey MacDonald, claimed off waivers from Detroit on Monday, finished with 18 saves on 21 shots faced in his Calgary debut.
"Especially in the first 10 minutes, we were outworked," said Calgary forward Jarome Iginla, who had an assist in his 1,200th career game. "We weren't ready physically to battle and compete."
Dennis Wideman and Curtis Glencross supplied the goals for Calgary, which has dropped three of four. Glencross' goal was the 100th of his career.
Flames head coach Bob Hartley will start MacDonald on Sunday, giving the veteran his first start since March 14 while with Detroit. He made 14 appearances and 12 starts with the Red Wings last season, going 8-5-1 with a 2.16 GAA and .912 save percentage.
On Saturday, Calgary sent Irving to the AHL and recalled netminder Danny Taylor.
"When we claimed Joey MacDonald off waivers we did so with the expectation that he would play games for us," said Flames general manager Jay Feaster in a release announcing the move. "Now that he has seen some game action we intend to use him more. ... We want Leland to go down and work on sharpening his game. At the same time this enables us to continue to evaluate Danny Taylor at the NHL level."
Calgary starting netminder Miikka Kiprusoff remains sidelined with a sprained knee.
02/17 10:30:46 ET