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HomeSportsGaudreau’s OT goal gives Flames 3-2 win over Stars in Game 7

Gaudreau’s OT goal gives Flames 3-2 win over Stars in Game 7

Johnny Gaudreau saw the puck bouncing his way, so he raced over, slapped it toward the net – and sent the Calgary Flames to a Game 7 victory.

Gaudreau scored 15:09 into overtime to lift Calgary past the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Sunday night, giving the Flames just their second playoff series win in the last 17 years. “You dream about stuff like that,” Gaudreau said, “scoring in a Game 7 in overtime.” Gaudreau got the rebound of Elias Lindholm’s attempt and put a sharp-angled shot over Jake Oettinger, who made 64 saves for Dallas – a franchise record for the most stops in a Game 7.

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“You go into overtime with Jake, you know it’s going to take a perfect shot to beat him, and it was a perfect shot,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said. “Johnny made a great shot, right under the bar. You can’t do anything about that.” Tyler Toffoli and Matthew Tkachuk scored their first goals of the series, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 shots and had an assist for the Flames, who will face the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference’s semifinal in the first postseason Battle of Alberta since 1991. The series opens Wednesday in Calgary.

Oettinger became the second player in NHL history to have 60 or more saves in a Game 7 since 1955, when shots on goal were first tracked. The New York Islanders’ Kelly Hrudey made 73 saves in a 3-2 win over Washington in four overtimes in 1987. Benn and Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Stars, who praised the 23-year-old Oettinger for his performance.

Bowness called Oettinger “a franchise goalie, no question.” Calgary’s Darryl Sutter improved to 8-3 in Game 7s – the most wins by a coach in those situations in NHL history. He has also won each of his last five Game 7 matchups.

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After reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2004, when Calgary fell in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning – 2005 was a lockout year – the Flames didn’t win another playoff series until 2015, when Calgary was knocked out in the second round by Anaheim.

Calgary outshot Dallas 52-23 over three periods, but the score was deadlocked heading into the first overtime period of the series.

“We deserved to win,” Sutter said. Oettinger stopped Gaudreau on his doorstep near the 11-minute mark of the third, followed by Markstrom turning away Jacob Petersen on a breakaway.

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