Johnny Gaudreau was the Calgary Flames most dangerous offensive player all season, so it was very fitting that he was the player to step up in overtime on Sunday night to give them a 3-2 overtime win in Game 7 over the Dallas Stars.
Gaudreau’s goal sends the Flames to the Second Round where they will meet their long-time rival the Edmonton Oilers in The Battle Of Alberta. It is the first time the two teams have met in the playoffs since the 1991 postseason.
As for this game on Sunday, the right team won just based on the way the game was played. Calgary was by far by far — the better team, outshooting Dallas by a whopping 67-28 margin. The Flames had 129 total shot attempts in all situations to only 59 for Dallas, while also owning a commanding edge in scoring chances, per Natural Stat Trick.
[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]
The only reason the game made it to overtime was the mind-blowing play of Stars goalie Jake Oettinger, who did everything he could to carry his team. And for a while it looked like he was going to do just that as the Flames were unable to break him no matter how many chances or shots that put on him. Eventually, though, the more chances a team creates and the more shots it generates the more likely it is that something is going to find its way through, and that is exactly what happened with Gaudreau’s shot late in the first overtime period.
Gaudreau has taken some heat at times over the years for his lack of playoff goal scoring, but he came through at a massive moment this year. Just as he has all season. He finished the regular season with 40 goals and 115 total points (second best in the league) and added eight points in the seven-game series against Dallas. Along with his game-winning goal he also assisted on Matthew Tkachuk‘s game-tying goal in the second period.
The Gaudreau-Tkachuk duo was one of the league’s most dominant during the regular season.
CALGARY FLAMES v. EDMONTON OILERS
Game 1- May 18: Oilers at Flames, 9:30 pm ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)
Game 2- May 20: Oilers at Flames, 10:30 pm ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)
Game 3- May 22: Flames at Oilers, 8 pm ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN2)
Game 4- May 24: Flames at Oilers, 9:30 pm ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN)
*Game 5- May 26: Oilers at Flames, TBD
*Game 6- May 28: Flames at Oilers, TBD
*Game 7- May 30: Oilers at Flames, TBD
* if necessary
TBD – To Be Determined