Tkachuk scores 40th goal as Calgary Flames top Dallas Stars 4-2

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Matthew Tkachuk scored his 40th goal and recorded his 100th point and Chris Tanev notched the game-winner as the Calgary Flames clinched first place in the Pacific Division on Thursday with a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.

Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) celebrates his 40th goal and his 100th point of the season with teammates Johnny Gaudreau (13) and Andrew Mangiapane (88) during second period NHL hockey action against the Dallas Stars in Calgary on Thursday April 21, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

It’s the Flames’ eighth division title in franchise history, but just the third in the last 27 years.

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Noah Hanifin and Andrew Mangiapane, into an empty net, also scored for Calgary (48-20-10), which is 8-1-1 in its last 10 games.

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The Flames now wait to see who finishes in the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference as that will be their first-round opponent when the Stanley Cup playoffs begin in less than two weeks.

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Jason Robertson and Luke Glendening scored for Dallas (43-30-5). The Stars lost all three games on their Western Canada road trip.

The Stars, who are one of the teams fighting for a wild-card spot, will play their final four games at the American Airlines Center. Dallas will entertain the Seattle Kraken on Saturday.

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Dallas is precariously perched in the second wild-card spot, two points behind Nashville and two points up on Vegas. The Predators have a game in hand on the Stars.

Jacob Markstrom got the win for the Flames, making 21 saves to improve to 37-15-8.

Jake Oettinger, the busier of the two goalies, had 33 stops. He fell to 27-15-1.

Tied 1-1 headed to the third period, Calgary needed only 20 seconds to take its second lead of the night with Hanifin’s point shot eluding Oettinger, who was screened by Mikael Backlund.

But the Stars answered back five minutes later. Fredrik Karlstrom was stopped on a partial breakaway, but in making the save, Markstrom’s momentum carried him to out of the crease. Glendening was right there to deposit the rebound into the vacant net.

Karlstrom’s first NHL point came in his first career game. Inserting the Stars’ 2016 third-round pick into the lineup was one of a handful of tweaks made by coach Rick Bowness after a 5-2 loss in Edmonton on Wednesday.

Tanev’s go-ahead goal came at 13:05 on a point shot that deflected in off the leg of Glendening, who was battling with Backlund in front.

Scoreless after the opening 20 minutes, Calgary scored first for the NHL-leading 50th time. With the Flames on the power play, Tkachuk stuffed the puck in from the side of the net at 10:06 and thrust his arms in the air in celebration as his linemates mobbed him.

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The 24-year-old winger’s previous career high was 34 goals and 77 points in 2018-19.

With Gaudreau reaching the same century mark milestone last week, Calgary had two 100-point scorers for the fourth time in franchise history and first time since 1990-91 when Theo Fleury (51-53-104) and Al MacInnis (28-75-103) did it.

READ MORE: Johnny Gaudreau hits 100 points as Flames come back to win 5-3 over Kraken

But the lead was short-lived.

Less than two minutes later, the Stars went on their fifth power play of the game and it took only seven seconds for Robertson to take a pass from Jon Klingberg and rip a shot past Markstrom.

The game was scoreless after the opening period, which was a sloppy and disjointed period that at one point saw the teams combine for three tripping penalties in a span of 56 seconds.

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