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Stars 4, Flames 3

The SportsXchange

DALLAS --- The Dallas Stars atoned for Saturday's 8-1 home loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, getting a pair of goals from Loui Eriksson and then holding on for a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center on Monday.

Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan juggled lines at the morning skate, and his top line of Ray Whitney, Jamie Benn and Eriksson paid huge dividends in the win. Benn and Whitney had two assists apiece while Eriksson delivered his first two-goal game of the season.

Dallas, which had scored just one even-strength goal in its previous four games, led 3-0 after one period thanks to goals from Erik Cole, Eric Nystrom and Eriksson. However, the score could easily have been 5-0 after 20 minutes as the Stars misfired on several other high-quality chances.

Just 8:24 into the game, Dallas, which was playing inspired hockey from the opening faceoff, had its first serious opportunity when Antoine Roussel was hooked by Calgary defenseman Dennis Wideman as he was skating toward the Flames net, resulting in a penalty shot. However, Roussel misfired on his attempt, knocking a backhand just wide of the right post.

Cole opened the night's scoring at 13:07 of the opening frame by firing a 49-foot wrister from the right side that ricocheted off the left skate of Calgary defenseman Derek Smith and into the back of the Flames net to make it 1-0.

The Stars nearly doubled their advantage at 14:27 when Cody Eakin fired a 24-foot wrister from the right side that careened off the far post. The deflection landed in the crease, where it was quickly covered by Calgary goaltender Joey MacDonald.

But Dallas did make it 2-0 just 1:22 later when Nystrom found the back of the net for the first time since Feb. 13, a span of 10 games, beating McDonald with a 13-foot wrister from the left side. Nystrom, the son of former NHL defenseman Bob Nystrom, also scored his last goal against Calgary, in a 7-4 loss at the Saddledome over one month ago.

After Eakin and Calgary's Jarome Iginla squared off with 3:28 remaining before the opening intermission, Eriksson scored his eighth goal of the season with 1:49 left in the first to make it 3-0. After Whitney received the puck behind the Flames' goal, the veteran winger skated around the right side of the Dallas net and then hit Eriksson, who was rushing toward the visiting goal, in stride. Eriksson finished beautifully with a 10-foot wrister that went top shelf.

The Stars outshot the Flames 12-5 in the opening period. However, Calgary outshot Dallas 9-6 in the middle frame.

Much like it did in the last meeting between these clubs, Calgary rose up after trailing. The Flames found the back of the Dallas net twice in the middle frame, getting goals from Jiri Hudler and Jay Bouwmeester, both on the power play, to make it 3-2 after 40 minutes.

Hudler's goal, his sixth, came at 11:30 of the second when he deflected a blast from distance by T.J. Brodie. Bouwmeester's sixth of the season came after some nice passing among him, Curtis Glencross and Lee Stempniak, a sequence capped by a 14-foot backhand that first struck the crossbar before landing over the goal line to make it a one-goal game.

Eriksson's second tally, a 10-foot flip from the right side of the Calgary net, came after a Jamie Benn pass deflected off the skate of Calgary's Matt Giordano. Less than a second later, Eriksson finished for his ninth of the season.

Calgary again pulled within a goal when Alex Tanguay scored off a nine-foot backhand with 1:46 remaining to make it 4-3. However, not even after pulling MacDonald with 1:27 remaining for the extra attacker could the Flames force overtime.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 15 of the 18 shots he faced for his 10th win of the season. MacDonald stopped 20 of 24 shots in the loss.

Calgary continues its three-game road trip on Thursday night at Nashville while Dallas will hit the road for a quick two-game trip which starts on Wednesday at Colorado.

NOTES: Flames center Mikael Backlund, who was a game-time decision after suffering a lower-body injury in Friday's 6-3 win over Nashville, skated in warm-ups and played for Calgary...Dallas defenseman Philip Larsen was a late scratch due to illness. Rookie Jamie Oleksiak replaced him at the blue line...Calgary had won both meetings of the season against Dallas, beating them 7-4 at the Saddledome on Feb. 13 and 4-3 four days later at American Airlines Center...Saturday's 8-1 loss to Chicago was Dallas' worst home defeat since the franchise relocated from Minnesota in 1993...During the first period, Guy Carbonneau, a member of Dallas' 1999 Stanley Cup championship team, was honored as a member of the Stars' 20th Anniversary Team...Whitney, who assisted on Eriksson's first-period goal, now has points in three of the four games since returning from a 16-game absence due to a foot injury on March 12 against Nashville.

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