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Playoff update: News on the Calgary Flames for May 4


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As the Calgary Flames make a run for the Stanley Cup with their best lineup in years, we’ll be there every step of the way. Follow this page for news updates, player profiles, analysis, photos and tweets throughout the playoffs.

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What you need to know

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Flames prevail in penalty-filled Game 1

The Calgary Flames celebrate Elias Lindholm’s first period goal on the Dallas Stars during first round Stanley Cup playoff action in Calgary on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.
The Calgary Flames celebrate Elias Lindholm’s first period goal on the Dallas Stars during first round Stanley Cup playoff action in Calgary on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Gavin Young/Postmedia

Calgary Flames coach Darryl Sutter had warned there could be a whack of whistles in Game 1.

Were these words of wisdom from his decades of behind-the-bench experience in the Stanley Cup playoffs?

Not exactly.

More based on what he watched unfold on his flat screen on the opening night of the spring dance — power play after power play after power play.

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As Sutter put it prior to Tuesday’s 1-0 victory in their series-opener against the Dallas Stars: “Last night is a history lesson, so you pass it on.”

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Flames blueliners step up after Andersson’s game misconduct

Calgary Flames Elias Lindholm scores on Dallas Stars Jake Oettinger in first period during round one of the Western Conference NHL playoff action at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.
Calgary Flames Elias Lindholm scores on Dallas Stars Jake Oettinger in first period during round one of the Western Conference NHL playoff action at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

Without the services of Rasmus Andersson for two full periods, the rest of the Calgary Flames defence needed to step up.

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Down to five defencemen, that’s just how it goes.

A challenge? Sure, but the Flames d-men got to work and put up major minutes in helping their team secure a 1-0 win in Game 1 of their first-round series against the Dallas Stars, but also held their opponent to only 16 shots.

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Six figure jackpot for first 50/50 of the playoffs

The Calgary Flames practice beneath Stanley Cup logos at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday, May 2, 2022.
The Calgary Flames practice beneath Stanley Cup logos at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday, May 2, 2022. Photo by Gavin Young /Postmedia

Someone is holding onto a very valuable ticket this morning. The jackpot in last night’s 50/50 rang in at $147,075.

If the lucky ticket buyer purchased their ticket online, they will be notified. But those who attended the game and bought their ticket in person needs to check the number.

The winning ticket number is B-100077452.


Fan photos from Game 1

Calgary Flames fans get ready for the first game in the Calgary Flames’ Stanley Cup playoff series against the Dallas Stars in Calgary on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

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Flames fans were pumped as they head to Game 1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.
Flames fans were pumped as they head to Game 1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia
Cody Fiske is pumped as he heads to Game 1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.
Cody Fiske is pumped as he heads to Game 1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

Flames vs. Stars: Game 1 need-to-knows

Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk needs one more point to join the 100 Club.
Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk needs one more point to join the 100 Club. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

There’s about a million to choose from. The Flames racked up 50 wins this season, one of the finest campaigns in franchise lore.

There were a long list of standout — and sometimes record-setting — individual performances, highlighted by 100-point outbursts from both Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. But none of that matters once the puck drops on Game 1.

Can the Flames, as the top seed in the Pacific Division and in front of 19,289 red-clad fans, continue their roll with the stakes now raised?

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Tuesday

Flames’ Mikael Backlund looking to finally go on a run

Calgary Flames Mikael Backlund scores on Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner in first period NHL action at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Wednesday, February 9, 2022.
Calgary Flames Mikael Backlund scores on Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner in first period NHL action at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

There are few people who might better understand the frustrations of the Calgary Flames over the last decade and a half than Mikael Backlund.

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Conversely, there probably aren’t many people who can fully comprehend just what it would mean for this year’s team to win a few playoff rounds and truly compete for a Stanley Cup the way Backlund can.

Since making his Flames debut back in 2009, Backlund — now the team’s longest-tenured player — has seen it all with the organization. He’s been there for the ups and downs.

Only once, though, has Backlund seen the second round of the playoffs.

“We haven’t had the success I wanted to have here, but at the same time nothing would beat winning the Cup here in Calgary,” Backlund said Tuesday, mere hours before the puck dropped on the Flames’ first-round playoff series against the Dallas Stars. “As a group, we’ve been here (together) for a while and, personally, we want to show that we can be a really good playoff team.”

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Tuesday

Zero tolerance for excessive honking along Red Mile during playoffs

Flames fans celebrate along the Red Mile after a win over Colorado on April 11, 2019.
Flames fans celebrate along the Red Mile after a win over Colorado on April 11, 2019. Photo by Brendan Miller /Postmedia

Parking bans will be in effect on game nights and police will have a no-tolerance approach for excessive honking and other forms of unruliness along the Red Mile as the Calgary Flames look to bring home their first Stanley Cup since 1989.

Insp. Clare Smart said police will be patrolling 17th Avenue S.W. with mounted units, bike units, beat officers as well as partners as they make sure fans are respectful and responsible on game days, with Calgary kicking off their playoff run against the Dallas Stars Tuesday evening.

“There’s going to be zero tolerance for the honking. With that, we have our Calgary traffic units that will be looking into those incidents and laying tickets where they can,” said Smart.

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Smart said police and bylaw officers will also be ticketing anyone found to be drinking alcohol outside of licensed establishments, smoking marijuana in public, or found to be urinating in public as well as other bylaw breaches.

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Tuesday

Drop the puck! Sutter’s Flames anxious to start playoff quest

Flames head coach Darryl Sutter speaks with media after practice on Monday.
Flames head coach Darryl Sutter speaks with media after practice on Monday. Photo by Gavin Young /Postmedia

On the eve of the Calgary Flames’ playoff opener, Darryl Sutter didn’t downplay his own anticipation.

“Yeah, I’ve been kind of waiting for it for a while,” he said, even allowing a slight smile. “It’s why you play, right?”

And why you coach, too.

Sutter has already waited six years. It has been that long since the now-unretired skipper was last standing behind the bench in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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Tuesday

Flames fans are among the least thirsty in the NHL: survey

A beer on the ledge of the boards in the front row during the third period of action as the Calgary Flames beat the visiting Arizona Coyotes 9-1 at the Saddledome. April 16, 2022.
A beer on the ledge of the boards in the front row during the third period of action as the Calgary Flames beat the visiting Arizona Coyotes 9-1 at the Saddledome. April 16, 2022. Photo by Brendan Miller /Postmedia

There’s no doubt the Calgary Flames and their fans are hungry for a Stanley Cup.

However, as fans flock to the Saddledome and Red Mile, that hunger to win isn’t translating into a thirst for beer compared to other markets.

In a survey of more than 1,500 NHL fans commissioned by online gambling site time2play.com, people self-reported to pollsters how many drinks they enjoy each game, and how much they spend on alcohol.

In drinks per game, Flames fans were the lowest of any Canadian team. According to the survey, people self-reported an average of 2.2 drinks per game, tied with the Anaheim Ducks for fourth-last place among all NHL markets. Flames fans, however, reported spending a little less than Ducks fans, averaging $25.30 per game, once the exchange rate was factored in. Fans in Anaheim reported spending $5.50 more.

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Tuesday

Sutter says Stars goalie Jake Oettinger shouldn’t be overlooked

Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger and defenceman Miro Heiskanen.
Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger and defenceman Miro Heiskanen. Photo by Jerome Miron /USA Today Sports

The Flames aren’t buying into the idea that Jake Oettinger’s inexperience in the playoffs represents some sort of massive disadvantage for the Dallas Stars.

When Flames head coach Darryl Sutter was asked about the Stars’ young goaltender this weekend in advance of the puck dropping on their first-round playoff series tonight (8 p.m. MT, CBC/Sportsnet West, Sportsnet 960 The Fan), he had nothing but high praise for Oettinger.

In fact, he went so far as to say that the goaltending matchup between Oettinger and Flames star shot-stopper Jacob Markstrom was pretty much a wash.

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Tuesday

Markstrom could be playoff difference-maker for Flames

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Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom practises at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.
Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom practises at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday. Photo by Gavin Young /Postmedia

David Marcoux had one of the best seats in the house — whether that was at the Saddledome or on the road ­— for some of the greatest puck-stopping performances in Calgary Flames history.

So this observation, coming from the goaltending coach during Miikka Kiprusoff’s heyday, carries significant clout.

“Watching this season with Jacob, he has the potential to actually be even better than Miikka was at the time. He has that potential,” said Marcoux, who was on the Flames’ staff from 2003-09. “I just look at his leadership skills and his communication skills. He is way more comfortable speaking to his teammates when it matters than Miikka ever was. And that, I think, could be a game-changer.

“That is that little bit extra that could make a big, big difference heading into the playoffs is Jacob’s ability to be a leader and how vocal he is.”

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