NHL Hockey

Hot Stars looking to douse Flames

The Dallas Stars head into Monday's home game with the Calgary Flames riding high.

A three-game winning streak and a 4-0-1 record in its last five outings has Dallas three points ahead of the pack in the Central Division, and that's not the only good news.

The Stars are coming off Saturday's dominant 7-3 home-ice victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, making an impressive statement to the rest of the league and to themselves.

"We're not planning any parades," Stars coach Peter DeBoer said. "It was a really good effort, and now we have to keep building on it. I don't want to undersell the importance of the win because it's an important win, but that doesn't mean all of a sudden we're the best team in the league."

The victory not only was a huge confidence booster for the Stars as a team, but also saw a couple of key players break lengthy goal-scoring slumps. Joe Pavelski snapped an 18-game goal drought with a two-point outing, while Mason Marchment scored for the first time in 33 outings.

"We knew it was coming, it felt like it was coming for a week or two now," Pavelski said. "When you're going good, you never think you'll find yourself in one of those. Hasn't been the first one, probably not the last, so you try to focus on the little things and keep doing those things well, making the plays, finding yourself around the net. It's good to see them go in."

Meanwhile, the Flames are headed in the other direction. Calgary, which is coming off a dismal performance in a 3-0 home loss to the Minnesota Wild, has dropped five straight games and has claimed only two wins in the last 10 games (2-5-3).

The Flames trailed 1-0 midway through the third period, but never showed a big-time push to find an equalizer, let alone blow ahead of the Wild.

"I think it was kind of flat on our end from start to finish," forward Milan Lucic said. "At this point of the year, especially, you should be excited and have a lot of energy to play every single night. That's on us as individuals and that's on us as a team. As players, it's a big part of our preparation. Energy is something we have to create within."

The fans showed plenty of energy by booing their team off the ice, having witnessed their veteran-laden squad blanked for the second time this season and manage only four goals in a winless three-game homestand.

"You understand it," defenseman Rasmus Andersson said. "Passionate fan base. It's obviously tough for us. You understand it. We haven't been very good lately.

"Everyone on the team just has to look at ourselves in the mirror. We can't blame anyone else."

"I'd boo, too," coach Darryl Sutter added, before ensuring those who were most targeted knew their role in the disappointment.

"Our top players have got to be better players, that's for sure," Sutter added.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 5, 2023

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