Flames, Stars Heading in Different Directions
DALLAS -- The Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars meet Tuesday night at American Airlines Center in a game featuring clubs heading in different directions.
Calgary (22-10-2, 46 points), which sits first in the Pacific Division, has won three straight contests, including a 7-2 win at St. Louis on Sunday.
The Flames, who are 11-7-0 on the road, are also 12-2-1 over their past 15 games.
"We're starting to develop a confidence in ourselves individually and in the group collectively," Calgary coach Bill Peters said after Sunday's win. "They conduct themselves properly and they're holding themselves accountable too."
Sunday's victory, one which saw Calgary lead 4-0 after one period, marked the fourth time this season the Flames have scored at least seven goals, tying them with Tampa Bay for most in the NHL.
Calgary, which averages 3.59 goals per game, fifth-best in the league, and allows 2.71 goals per game, third-lowest, is 2-0-0 on its current road trip and the Flames have outscored their first two foes 9-3.
That potent Calgary attack is led by Sean Monahan, tied for ninth in the NHL with 20 goals, and Johnny Gaudreau, tied for sixth in the league with 45 points.
Dallas (16-14-3, 35 points) is slogging through a four-game losing streak after a winless road trip, but this is a Stars team that has won four straight and six of their last eight against the Flames.
The most recent of those victories came November 28 in Calgary when the Stars edged the Flames 4-3 in overtime.
"We'd like to have a good start again (like we did in St. Louis). We know they have a good team," Flames center Mikael Backlund told the team's official website Monday. "We learned that the last time we played against them. We got to play our game-play hard, play fast."
The Stars last played Saturday, losing 6-4 at Colorado, capping an 0-4-0 road trip.
"(I saw) a lot of good and a lot of areas we need to improve on," Dallas rookie coach Jim Montgomery said of the road trip on Monday. "Offense got better on the trip, defense got worse."
And while Dallas has struggled away from the Lone Star State, the Stars have been a much different club at home, where they are 10-3-1.
In practice on Monday, Montgomery had rookie forward Denis Gurianov skating on Dallas' top line alongside the Stars' top offensive duo of captain Jamie Benn and perennial All-Star Tyler Seguin.
"Just his instincts, speed, ability to shoot in stride (are what we like)," Montgomery said of Gurianov. "He's looking like he's an NHL player. He's not just a player that's good in flashes. He just seems to be good all the time now. He's looking dominant now."
Montgomery also said Monday he hopes to have injured defenseman John Klingberg (hand), out the past 17 games, back for Thursday's game with Chicago but at the latest Klingberg will return for Saturday's visit to Minnesota.
Dallas will play seven of its next nine at home.
Updated December 17, 2018