DALLAS – Alex Tanguay bailed out the Calgary Flames late in regulation, then he rescued them again in the shootout.
Tanguay converted in the second round of the shootout after sending the game to overtime in the final two minutes of regulation, Miikka Kiprusoff stopped all three Dallas shooters, and the Flames snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Stars on Thursday night.
Tanguay beat Kari Lehtonen for the only goal in the tiebreaker, hesitating for a split second before lifting a wrist shot past Lehtonen.
“Their goalie moves extremely well from side to side,” said Tanguay, 4-for-6 in shootouts this season. “I tried to make my move early to be able to see if I could lift it a little bit. He’s big, one of those butterfly-type goalies, so he covers a lot of the net extremely well. I was hoping to beat him high.”
Before the game, Lehtonen studied tape of Tanguay’s previous shootout attempts, but Lehtonen was still unsure what kind of move Tanguay would attempt.
“Every shootout he tries something different,” Lehtonen said. “This was a new move again. It was a nice one.”
Kiprusoff stopped Loui Eriksson and Brad Richards in the first two rounds, and Dallas’ Mike Ribeiro failed to get off a clean shot in the third round.
Brenden Morrow gave the Stars a 2-1 lead at 2:41 of the third period, knocking the rebound of his own shot past Kiprusoff. But with Kiprusoff on the bench for a sixth attacker, Tanguay tied it with 1:21 left in regulation on a wrist shot from the high slot that beat Lehtonen to the stick side.
“It seemed like we were in their zone a long time,” Tanguay said. “I stayed behind, the puck came over to me and I was lucky enough to put it over him.”
Kiprusoff made 14 saves and Anton Babchuk scored on the power play for the Flames, who scored three goals during their three-game skid.
“Obviously, this is something we can build on,” Calgary coach Brent Sutter said. “To come into this building and play as well as we did, it’s a plus.”
Ribeiro scored a power-play goal and Lehtonen stopped 31 shots for the Stars, 10-0-3 in their last 13 at home.
Dallas heads into a two-day holiday break with 46 points, tied with Detroit for the top spot in the Western Conference.
“We’re disappointed in the way we played,” Stars coach Marc Crawford said. “We had too many people who were a little bit off tonight. But give Calgary credit. They came in very determined, played a hard game. On the bright side, we got a point. If you’d have said we’d be tied for first place in the Western Conference going into the break, we’d be pretty happy.”
Calgary struck first when Babchuk’s shot from beyond the left circle got past a screened Lehtonen at 11:03 of the first period, a second before the Flames’ power play was to expire.
Ribeiro’s one-timer from the right circle drew Dallas even at with 2:47 left in the opening period, 16 seconds into the Stars’ first power play of the night.
Calgary held a 16-6 shots advantage after two periods of a tight-checking contest.
Adam Pardy had a chance to put the Flames in front with a little over six minutes left in the second period, but his shot clanged off the post.
Dallas’ Jamie Benn and Calgary captain Jarome Iginla squared off at 7:19 of the first period, a fight that lasted over a minute. Benn landed several early shots to Iginla’s face before wearing down.
Ignila went to the locker-room for four stitches under his right eye while serving his fighting penalty, but returned later in the first period.
NOTES: Calgary is 4-2 in shootouts this season. Dallas is 4-3 in the tiebreaker. … The Flames are without D Steve Staios (shoulder), C Daymond Langkow (neck) and LW Raitis Ivanans (concussion). Dallas is injury-free and has lost only 26 player-games to injuries this season. … The Stars have scored on the power play in seven straight games.