Stars aim to sweep Flames in finale of home-and-home
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars picked up two big points in the opener of their home-and-home series with the Calgary Flames on Saturday, grabbing the top spot in the Pacific Division while dealing the Flames a crucial loss.
The Stars open up a four-game road trip tonight in the back end of this series, looking to sweep the sinking Flames for the first time in eight years.
Dallas won for the second time in three games and for the 12th in its past 16 contests by taking Saturday's home contest with Calgary by a 4-1 margin. The Stars and the Phoenix Coyotes both have 87 points, but Dallas owns the tiebreaker for the top spot in the Pacific Division because it has two games in hand over the Coyotes. Phoenix is idle this evening after a loss to the Blues on Sunday.
The Sharks and Kings are also one point back of the Stars for the division lead, leaving them tied for the eighth spot in the West. The Flames are three back of that spot with only six games to play.
Calgary lost its fifth straight game (0-2-3) to match a season high as it failed to solve Kari Lehtonen. Dallas' netminder made 35 saves, including 29 over the final two periods, and Jamie Benn scored a pair of goals.
"I thought we had a strong start and our goalie played great once again," Benn said.
Playing in his 799th career game, Stars captain Brenden Morrow scored an empty-net goal as Dallas has bested Calgary in all three meetings so far this season. The Stars, who were swept in four games by the Flames last season, will try to record a sweep of this series for the first time since 2003-04.
Dallas has won six of its past seven on the road and is 19-15-2 as the guest.
Miikka Kiprusoff stopped just 16 shots for the Flames, who are in danger of posting their longest losing streak since a nine-game slide from Jan. 11-28, 2010 at a very inopportune time.
"We were standing and watching, we weren't moving our feet," said Calgary head coach Brent Sutter. "Then we got going and we played a pretty good hockey game after that. We didn't give them much; hardly any shots at all. Their goaltender definitely was the first star."
Back after missing nine games with an upper-body injury, Mike Cammalleri scored Calgary's only goal, his 16th of the season. Cammalleri suffered his injury in a shootout loss to the Stars on March 4.
Following a winless three-game road trip, the Flames play three straight and five of their final six at home. They are 4-0-2 as the host this month and 20-10-6 on the season.
Calgary has lost six of its last nine at home versus Dallas.
03/26 11:00:02 ET