Things weren't looking too good for the Stars on Thursday after the Flames came out firing in a must-win Game 6. Calgary tallied three goals on seven shots before the clock had hit the seven-minute mark of the first period.
But oh, how quickly things can change.
Things were still relatively calm for the boys from Alberta as they headed into the first intermission with a 3-1 lead, but then they combusted, allowing five goals in the second period. It got so bad that interim coach Geoff Ward pulled starting goalie Cam Talbot in favor of David Rittich.
Twitter, of course, had a field day as the Flames melted down in a do-or-die contest.
#Flames allow seven straight and lose game six 7-3. They had a 3-0 lead. An unreal collapse with their season on the line. Still not sure what I just saw.— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) August 21, 2020
Stars win three straight, take the series 4-2. To call Calgary’s coming offseason franchise-defining is not an exaggeration.
Dallas tacked on another goal in the third period against Talbot, who returned to the crease for the final frame, as rookie Denis Gurianov capped a four-goal night. Gurianov, who entered the postseason with just one multigoal game to his credit in 86 career regular-season games (Nov. 2, 2019 vs. the Canadiens), became the sixth freshman to score at least five points in a playoff game. He also joined Joe Mullen as the only rookies to do it in a series-clincher.
Denis Gurianov (4-1—5) became the sixth rookie in NHL history to collect at least five points in a playoff game and the second to do so in a series-clinching game, joining Joe Mullen in Game 4 of the 1982 DSF. #NHLStats #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/npK0Im7f1i— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 21, 2020
Of course, someone quickly updated Gurianov's Wikipedia page.
Someone added “Currently the owner of the Calgary Flames” to Denis Gurianov’s Wikipedia page. pic.twitter.com/zUNH10thGp— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 21, 2020
"I thought we had a real good start, I thought we were rolling," Calgary's Sean Monahan said postgame when asked how the game turned. "Then we gave them a few goals there and they took advantage of that.
"I don't know. Sucks."
Mikael Backlund added: "It's tough. It's [an] empty feeling . . . I personally just feel empty. You wonder what happened, things just turned so quickly. We just couldn't stop the bleeding and it happened so quick. Yeah, it's hard right now."
The Stars became the sixth team to rally from a 3-0 first-period deficit in a series-ending game. They advanced to a second-round matchup with the Avalanche with their 7-3 victory.
The Flames now have a lot of decisions to make, starting with Ward's status.