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Stars force Game 7 with gritty performance on their home ice

Dallas created its most offense of the series, led by Roope Hintz and Michael Raffl.

DALLAS — Roope Hintz, Michael Raffl, Miro Heiskanen and Tyler Seguin scored for the Stars, lifting Dallas to a 4-2 win in Game 6 of their Western Conference first round series with the Calgary Flames.  

The Stars win knots the series up at 3-3, and forces a deciding Game 7 on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. CT in Calgary.

Dallas outshot the Flames for the first time in the series, finally creating some of the havoc in front of the net that head coach Rick Bowness had asked his team to provide. Dallas had 40 shots, to the Flames 38. 

"We wanted to go after them, the whole game," Bowness said afterward.  Mission accomplished.

After Calgary had the SOG edge of 18-10 through the first period, the Stars peppered Jacob Markstrom the rest of the way, outshooting the Flames 30-20.

"You saw it all night, the guys wanted more," Stars forward Joe Pavelski said. "We played that game with a purpose, and that allowed us to accomplish those things."

The Stars are not staying home.

"I know we're not supposed to be playing, we're supposed to be on our golf vacation," Bowness said. "But we're not here to be someone's stepping stone to the second round."

Dallas opened the scoring, as Roope Hintz took a drop pass from Joe Pavelski, and sniped one past Jacob Markstrom, to give Dallas a 1-0 lead, at the 14:52 mark of the first period.

Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger stopped all 18 shots he faced in the first period. He’d ultimately stop 36 of the 38 Flames shots in the game.

The Stars gave Calgary an early power play, as Marian Studenic was whistled for tripping at the 5:30 mark of the first period. But Dallas was able to ward off the Flames man advantage, despite Calgary putting three shots on goal.

The Stars doubled their lead midway through the second period, as Joel Kiviranta drove the net hard off a Flames turnover, and created an opportunity in from of Markstrom’s cage. Raffl swooped in to finish the job, and give Dallas a 2-0 lead.

Just minutes later though, the Flames would answer back, finding their first tally of the night. Johnny Gaudreau led the odd man rush into the zone, and fed Michael Stone, who slammed it home on the back side, to draw the Flames closer, at 2-1.

The Stars gave Calgary another power play, when Ryan Suter was called for interference at the 9:58 mark of the second period.  Just as his power play was expiring, the Flames tied the game up, as Mikael Backlund rifled a shot that pin-balled its way into the net, past Oettinger, knotting the game at 2-2.

But in the waning minutes of the third period, Miro Heiskanen would put Dallas back in front. The Stars top defenseman danced past a Flames defender, got himself free, and rifled the puck past Backstrom, to give Dallas a 3-2 advantage heading to the final 20.

"Miro was dynamic tonight. Without the the puck, with the puck. And when he's on, you love watching him play hockey," Bowness said. "So poised, so smooth."

Dallas had a prime opportunity to finally pot a power play goal, when Joe Pavelski had a yawning cage in the third period. But Markstrom made a sensational, sprawling save with his left foot, just getting in front of the puck at the goal line, to keep it a 3-2 game at the time.

The Stars added an empty netter, courtesy of Tyler Seguin, to establish the final margin, of 4-2.