Lindholm scores, Markstrom gets shutout in Flames' 1-0 win over Stars to start series

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CALGARY — One goal and a Jacob Markstrom shutout was enough for the Calgary Flames to take an early lead in their playoff series with the Dallas Stars.

Lindholm scored a power-play goal in the first period and Markstrom stopped 16 shots Tuesday in Calgary's 1-0 win over Dallas.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven conference quarterfinal is Thursday in Calgary before heading to American Airlines Center for Saturday's Game 3 and Monday's Game 4.

Markstrom earned his second career playoff shutout in front of a sellout. The Flames won their second playoff game at the Saddledome since 2015.

"Even warmup was fun and I got goosebumps," Lindholm said. "The crowd was into right away and obviously we had some good energy right away.

"I thought the first 10 or 15 minutes we played real well and the second and third, too many penalties."

Markstrom, 32, played his first playoff game in front of fans after going two rounds with the Vancouver Canucks in Edmonton's playoff bubble in 2020.

Dallas counterpart Jake Oettinger turned away 25-of-26 shots for the loss in first NHL playoff start. The 23-year-old played a few minutes of mop-up duty for the Stars in Edmonton two years ago.

Calgary (50-21-11) topped the Pacific Division, while the Stars (46-30-6) entered the playoffs via the Western Conference's first wild-card berth.

Calgary led 1-0 after a dominant opening period. The Flames held the Stars to three shots, and the first didn't happen until 11:05.

Both clubs absorbed the loss of their top defenceman at the end of the first period when Calgary's Rasmus Andersson and Dallas's John Klingberg took game misconducts for fighting at the buzzer.

That tussle followed Matthew Tkachuk and Michael Raffl also throwing punches at the period's close. Tkachuk shoved Klingberg hard into the boards behind Calgary's net in the dying seconds.

Without their power-play quarterback Klingberg, the Stars went 0-for-5 with a man advantage. The Flames went 1-for-5.

Calgary was able to spread out the extra minutes vacated by Rasmussen between Chris Tanev, Noah Hanifin and Erik Gudbrandson to keep them under 26 minutes, while Miro Heiskanen logged almost 30 for Dallas.

The two sides cancelled each other out five-on-five. Calgary's top line of Lindholm, Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau and Dallas's top trio of Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson didn't produce an even-strength goal.

"From our side, I think we can play better," Lindholm said. "It was a tight game. Both teams played good defensively, so there was not a lot going on out there, but we found a way.

"Their goalie saw the puck a lot, so we need to get more bodies to the net and create some more chaos."

The clubs traded chances in the third. Dallas mustered more sustained pressure in Calgary's zone in the second period, but still trailed by a goal after 40 minutes.

"It's going to be a tough series and a very, very good chance there's going to be more games like that," Gudbrandson said. "We did it as a five-man unit tonight and didn't give them that opportunity they could score on and obviously Marky played stellar.

"He was really solid. There were moments in the game where he needed to be sticky and he was sticky and got a whistle for us. We trust him. He's a great goaltender."

Dallas coach Rick Bowness said his team "bent a little but didn't break" over the first half of the opening period.

"I thought they were going to run us out of the rink, and they didn't," Bowness said. "We put up a good fight.

"It's clear our power play has to get clicking. That was a big issue for us. We need more pucks on the net. But the compete was there, the work ethic, everything was good."

A Blake Coleman goal for Calgary midway through the second period was waived off because of his interference penalty.

Stars defenceman Jani Hakanpaa was penalized for an illegal check to Coleman's head in the first period, and the Flames made the visitors pay scoring off the ensuing faceoff.

Lindholm won the draw and converted a Tkachuk feed from the boards.

Lindholm bent his right knee to get oomph behind a wrist shot that beat Oettinger under his glove at 5:01 of the period.

Coleman, who signed with Calgary last year after winning back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning, went to the bench in distress after the Hakanpaa hit, but the winger finished the period.

"I'm all right," Coleman said. "It's playoff hockey."

Notes: The Stars ousted the Flames in six games in the first round of the 2020 playoff bubble in Edmonton . . . It's the fourth best-of-seven series in the past 21 years to feature four 40-goal scorers: Flames forwards Lindholm, Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau and Dallas forward Jason Robertson.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2022.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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