The Dallas Stars will have their work cut out for them when they take on the Calgary Flames in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday.
The No. 3 seed struggled in the round-robin games, having lost to the Vegas Golden Knights (5-3) and the Colorado Avalanche (4-0) before winning 2-1 against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday after trailing for most of the game.
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The Stars offense hasn’t been able to produce goals which will have to change if they plan to win the series over the Flames but where they lack in goals they make up in defense.
Ben Bishop missed Dallas’ only win in the playoffs but played exceptionally well during the regular season which saw the Stars allow the second fewest goals in the NHL behind the Boston Bruins.
But the Flames have proven themselves when it comes to a defense-first team in their 3-1 series win over the Winnipeg Jets in the qualifying round.
Both teams matchup well, with nearly identical power plays and face off wins. Calgary is 2-1 against Dallas this season but the difference in this series will come down to who can put more pucks on the net -- giving the Flames the advantage.
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“I think they got some offensive talent over there," Dallas forward Joe Pavelski told NHL.com. "They came from a series where they had to battle; Winnipeg was a defensive team.”
He continued: “I think they're going to come in and they're going to work hard. The biggest thing, we'll understand what they do, but at the end of the day, it's going to have to be about us as well."
This is the first time the two teams are meeting in the playoffs since 1981 when the Stars were the Minnesota North Stars.
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WHAT TO KNOW
Game 4: Aug. 16, 2 p.m. ET
Game 5 (if necessary): Aug. 18, TBD
Game 6 (if necessary): Aug. 20, TBD
Game 7 (if necessary): Aug. 22, TBD
WHERE: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Canada
TV: Fox Sports West Plus, NBC Sports
WHO’S MISSING? Dallas Stars coach Rick Bowness said “everyone's healthy,” which seems to be good news for 50-point producer Tyler Seguin and starting goaltender Ben Bishop, who each missed the round-robin finale Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.