Sports Minute: Gurinov scores 4, Stars rally to clinch series over Flames
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Denis Gurinov scored four goals, including a hat trick in the second period when also assisting on the go-ahead score, as the Dallas Stars rallied from a quick three-goal deficit for a 7-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night to wrap up the first-round playoff series in six games.
Gurinaov had two goals in the first 3:25 of the second period to tie the game at 3, before his helper on Radek Faksa’s power play goal about 2 1/2 minutes later pushed the Stars ahead to stay. It was 6-3 after Gurinov's next goal capped their five-goal second period, and he scored on a rebound midway through the third period.
Miro Heiskanen added a goal and three assists for the Stars, while Joe Pavelski had a goal and two assists. Pavelski had a hat trick in Game 4 of this series, which was the first for the franchise since moving to Dallas before the 1993-94 season.
Stars goalie Anton Khudobin stopped the last 34 shots he faced after giving up three goals in Calgary's first seven shots in the first 6:34 of the game — before Dallas even had a shot on goal.
The Stars, the third seed in the Western Conference, will play Colorado in the second round. It is the first time they have won playoff series in consecutive seasons since a four-year stretch from 1998-2001 that included their only Stanley Cup championship in 1999.
It was only the sixth game in NHL playoff history where both teams had a three-goal lead, with the Stars the first team to go from a three-goal deficit to a four-goal lead. Their seven goals were also the most in a playoff game since the franchise moved to Dallas.
The Flames, who won their best-of-five qualifying round series in four games against Winnipeg, have gotten to the conference quarterfinals only once (2015) in their eight playoff appearance since losing to Tampa Bay in Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final.
“I personally feel empty. You wonder what happened," Flames center Mikael Backlund. "Things just turned so quickly. We just couldn’t stop the bleeding. It happened so quick. It’s hard right now.”
A turnover by Pavelski led to the first goal by the Flames when TJ Brodie's shot was deflected by Andrew Mangiapane's stick that was parallel to the ice. It was 2-0 when Johnny Gaudreau scored with a shot from an awkward angle from behind the net with the puck ricocheting off the Khodobin's skate and into the net. It was 3-0 after their seventh shot, with Rasmus Andersson scoring on an odd-man rush.
Heiskanen got the Stars, who called their timeout after the third Calgary goal, on the board midway through the first with a power play goal after a game-changing penalty against Milan Lucic for goal interference.
“It was one of those moments where I think everyone understood it was, we haven’t played our game. We’re seeing their best game,” Pavelski said of the timeout. “It was a good timeout as far as catch your breath let’s try to get back to our game then. That power play goal was was enormous for us. It kind of stopped their push.”
Another penalty by Lucic, for delay of game after knocking the puck over the glass, led to Faksa's go-ahead goal.
The Flames pulled Cam Talbot after Gurinaov scored with a deflection through the goalie's legs. David Rittich allowed three goals in nine shots the rest of the second period before Talbot returned for the third period.
NOTES: Heiskanen has 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in the playoffs, second only to Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon's 13 (four goals, nine assists). ... Pavelski's 54 career playoffs goals are the fifth most among active players. ... Calgary was again without Matthew Tkachuk, who never return after leaving late in Game 2 after banging his head between two Stars. ... Dallas won all four regular-season games against Colorado.
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