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Flames on the brink of elimination after Klingberg’s wrister decides Game 5 for Stars

The Dallas Stars beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 Tuesday to push them to the brink of elimination in the NHL playoffs.

Stars defenceman John Klingberg fired a wrist shot from the blue line through traffic that beat goaltender Cam Talbot high on the short side, breaking a 1-1 deadlock early in the third period.

The Stars hold a 3-2 advantage in the seven-game opening-round series and can finish the Flames off with a win on Thursday.

Jamie Benn also scored for the Stars and netminder Anton Khudobin made 28 saves for the win.

WATCH | Calgary cedes series control to Dallas following Game 5 loss:

The Dallas Stars are one game away from knocking out the Calgary Flames after a 2-1 game five victory gives them a 3-2 lead in the series. 1:08

Mikael Backlund, with his fourth goal of the post-season, replied for Calgary. Talbot stopped 30 shots in his ninth consecutive post-season start.

It was a game the Stars dominated through the first two periods, with Talbot keeping the Flames in it by turning aside numerous high-percentage chances off the rush and from the slot.

Dallas opened the scoring with Tyler Seguin and Benn roaring down the ice on a 2-on-1. Seguin backhanded a pass to Benn that he redirected as he freight-trained into the crossbar, knocking the net off its pegs.

It was ruled a short-handed goal but the teams were just coming off 4-on-4 play at the time.

It was Benn’s second goal of the series, to go with two assists.

Backlund replied before the period was out, circling with the puck in the slot, then zipping a wrist shot past a screened Khudobin.

WATCH | CBC Sports’ Rob Pizzo recaps Monday in the NHL playoffs:

In his daily recap, Rob Pizzo breaks down four teams that were trying to take a 3-1 series lead.  2:50

Klingberg’s goal at 1:12 of the third was his first of the playoffs, to go with six assists.

Calgary was badly outplayed in the first period, getting outshot 14-7, but showed signs of life as the game wore on when Tobias Rieder joined Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan on the top line, with Elias Lindholm bumped down to play alongside Andrew Mangiapane and Backlund on the second trio.

Flames remain without Tkachuk

Rieder has three goals in the post-season — all shorthanded — and has been elevated to the top six in place of Matthew Tkachuk.

Tkachuk, the notorious agitator and Flames top scorer in the regular season, hasn’t played since he was knocked woozy on a hit late in Game 2.

Ben Bishop, the Stars regular season No. 1 goalie, did not dress for a second consecutive game. The NHL is not releasing injury information.

The low-scoring games had favoured Calgary. The Flames have won 3-2 and 2-0 and twice lost by 5-4 scores.

The Stars (37-24-8) were the 10th best team when the NHL regular season was suspended, and eventually ended, on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dallas lost out to the St. Louis Blues, the eventual Stanley Cup champion, in seven games in the second-round in the spring of 2019.

The Flames (36-27-7) were the 18th best team in the regular season. They are the sixth seed in the West and are coming off a first-round playoff defeat last season at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche.

All Western Conference games are being played at Rogers Place, with players isolating in a so-called bubble in between to prevent contracting COVID-19.

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