Flames beat Stars 5-4, keep playoff hopes alive

Calgary 5 Dallas 4 CALGARY — Mike Cammalleri had a goal and two assists Monday night as the Calgary Flames kept their flickering playoff hopes alive, erupting for four second period goals in a 5-4 victory over the Dallas Stars.

Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff

Calgary 5 Dallas 4

CALGARY — Mike Cammalleri had a goal and two assists Monday night as the Calgary Flames kept their flickering playoff hopes alive, erupting for four second period goals in a 5-4 victory over the Dallas Stars.

It was a critical victory for Calgary, which was winless in its last five and was in 11th spot in the Western Conference, three points back of the Los Angeles and the eighth and final playoff spot. San Jose and Colorado, in 10th and 11th respectively, were also level in points with the Kings. The Sharks and Avalanche played later Monday.

The Flames came into the game scuffling offensively with just six goals in their previous five games, but broke out in a big way with four goals over the final 11 minutes of the second period to turn around a game in which they trailed 2-1.

Tied 3-3, Calgary took its second lead of the second period when Mark Giordano’s low slapshot eluded Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen for a power-play goal at 16:58.

Later, Steve Ott’s tripping penalty at 18:33 gave the Flames their fourth man advantage of the period. Cammalleri’s attempted dump-in caromed into the slot off the skate of Stars defenceman Trevor Daley. Alex Tanguay’s quick shot was partially stopped by Lehtonen, but still went over him and landed in the net at 19:32.

Olli Jokinen, with his first goal and point in eight games, and Blake Comeau also scored for Calgary (35-27-15). The Flames are 5-0-2 in their last seven games at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Four of their final fives games are at home ice, including a pivotal game Wednesday night against Los Angeles.

Jamie Benn with a pair, Mike Ribeiro and Philip Larsen scored for Dallas (41-30-5). The Stars, kicking off a four-game road trip, have lost five of their last six away from home.

Dallas entered the night atop the Pacific Division, but tied in points with Phoenix, and just one point up on Los Angeles and San Jose.

Dallas held a 2-1 lead on a pair of Benn goals, one coming just 26 seconds into the game and another, 44 seconds into the second period, restoring the Stars’ one-goal cushion.

However, that one-goal lead was quickly turned into a one-goal disadvantage thanks to a forgettable shift for Mike Ribeiro.

With Iginla about to check Ribeiro into the Dallas end boards, the Stars centre inexplicably passed the puck up into the slot to a wide-open Comeau. The Flames winger slapped his first goal in 16 games past a stunned Lehtonen at 9:16.

Forty-five seconds later, Ribeiro lost a face-off to Iginla in the defensive end and Cammalleri was fortunate to have the puck slide right to him when Anton Babchuk’s shot from the blue-line hit a player in front.

Ribeiro turned his fortunes around at 14:29, tying the score 3-3 with a goal from a scramble.

Dallas turned it on in the third period, cutting its deficit to 5-4 at 5:24 on Larsen’s power play goal.

Later in the third, Loui Eriksson stripped the puck from Cammalleri and went in on a breakaway, but was denied by Miikka Kiprusoff.

Dallas outshot Calgary 12-5 in the third period.

Kiprusoff finished the night with 35 saves. Lehtonen stopped 30 shots.

Calgary went 3-for-6 on the power play. Dallas had only surrendered only two power play goals in the previous 13 games, killing off 41 of 43 man advantages.

The Flames, meanwhile, had just two power play goals in their previous eight games, going 2-for-23.

Dallas went 1-for-4 with the extra man.

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