Stars-Flames Preview

March, 25, 2012
3/25/12
10:53
PM CT
Dallas Stars at Calgary Flames
Monday, March 26
8:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

With Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Flames on Saturday, the Stars (41-29-5) moved back into first place in the Pacific Division and took over the third seed in the Western Conference. But the Stars still hold only a point lead in the division and a one point lead over ninth place.

So, it will be another crucial game for both the Stars and Flames when the two teams meet again Monday night.

“The emotions and the playoff atmosphere is going to carry over. There’s two big points on the line,” Stars forward Jamie Benn said. “We’re both pushing for a playoff spot and trying to get in. I think it’s going to be a hard-fought game.”

Monday’s game in Calgary will kick off a four-game road trip for the Stars that will also include games in Edmonton, Vancouver and San Jose.

“I think it’s a good time to go on the road to be honest with you,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. “There’s a lot of pressure at home. There’s a lot of pressure at this time of year. The media and the coaching staff and everyone is you’ve got to win your home games. The players feel it and the players know it. … Sometimes it’s easier to get on the road this time of the year and just kind of let loose for a road swing and just kind of put pressure on other teams in their buildings that have to win games.”

The Stars signed forward Reilly Smith, a third round pick from 2009, to an entry-level contract on Sunday. He’s been added to the roster, but is not expected to play Monday.

Injuries: D Mark Fistric (abdominal strain) is out.

About the Flames

With Saturday’s loss in Dallas, the Flames (34-27-15) are down to six games left in the season and they are three points out of a playoff spot.

“We play these guys again in two days and we want to play the same way. Except for the start, I thought we had a really good game. That’s all we can do right now,” Flames captain Jarome Iginla said after Saturday’s loss. “Our chances are slim. We have to run the table but nobody will give up and we’ll just work on the next one, take the same chances and if we do they’ll go in.”

Monday’s game opens a three-game homestand for the Flames, who play five of their final six games at home.

“You’ve got to take one at a time. We got to pick away here and not give up any points. We’ve got to get every point we can get and see what happens,” said Flames coach Brent Sutter. “We’re not out of it by any means yet but obviously every game that goes by, you lose games and pretty soon you’re going to get to the 82nd game of the season. You’ve got to find ways to get wins and you can’t give up points.”

Injuries: D Derek Smith (upper body) is questionable. C Mikael Backlund (upper body), D Cory Sarich (upper body) and D T.J. Brodie (upper body) are out.

Series notes

*This is the fourth and final meeting between the two teams.

*The Stars are 3-0-0 in the series.

*The Flames are 0-1-2 in the series.

*February 16, at Dallas: Stars 3, Flames 2 (OT)
March 4, at Calgary: Stars 3, Flames 2 (SO)
March 24, at Dallas; Stars 4, Flames 1


Mark Stepneski

ESPNDallas.com
Mark Stepneski joined ESPNDallas.com in July 2010. A former news/special projects producer for KXAS-TV, he has run the Andrew's Dallas Stars Page website since 1997.

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