Matthew Tkachuk has fingerprints all over Calgary Flames' victory over Dallas Stars
You could tell right from the first shift it was going to be Matthew Tkachuk's kind of game. Tkachuk's line with Elias Lindholm and Johnny Gaudreau started for the Calgary Flames and the scrappy winger got the fans into a frenzy by hitting everything in his path.
Tkachuk was in on the only goal of the game, helping set up Lindholm's power-play marker in the first.
He got into a scrap with Dallas Stars forward Michael Raffl at the end of the first period and had an amazing shift to end the game.
Tkachuk says in the post season you have to do whatever it takes.
"I enjoy playoff hockey and trying to make a difference, no matter which way that is," he said.
"Whether it's low-scoring games, and you've got to make a difference in more ways that just scoring. Fun games, playoff hockey is the best."
TKACHUK'S KIND OF GAME
Teammates like Noah Hanifin was certainly impressed by Tkachuk's effort. Hanifin says he set the tone in game one.
"Matthew, he's a leader on our team, and that's when he's playing his best hockey… when he gets that emotion going. He's a physical presence but he's also got so much skill and he can play any type of game, and I think he's definitely a player who is built for the playoffs."
WAR OF WORDS HAS BEGUN
Tkachuk wasn't the only Flames player to drop the mitts in game one; Rasmus Andersson scrapped with fellow Swedish defenceman John Klingberg at the end of the first.
Klingberg says he wasn't impressed and launched the first war of words.
"I was skating over to him and dropping my gloves and I wanted to go, but he's just standing there for two seconds and then he drops the gloves. I mean, he's acting a little tougher than he is, and we're going to go after him."
Tkachuk says he isn't sure what Klingberg meant by that comment.
FLAMES CAN HANDLE THEMSLEVES
"First of all, I don't even really know what that means, 'going after somebody,'" Tkachuk said.
"I think we've got enough guys that we can handle ourselves, guys outside of Raz (Andersson) who can handle themselves quite well."
"I don't think those guys are going to be fighting each other again in this series," added head coach Darryl Sutter.
HAVE TO BE EVEN BETTER IN GAME TWO
As happy as the Flames are to be up one game to nothing in the series, goaltender Jacob Markström, who earned the shutout, says they'll have to be even better in game two on Thursday night.
"For the most part we kept the puck in their end and we created more than they created and got rewarded with a 1-0 win, which is huge, but that's over with now, and we've got to look forward to Thursday night's game, which is going to be a huge challenge for us," he said.
Puck drop on Thursday is a little after 8 p.m. at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
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