Calgary’s Mike Cammalleri had a different ending in mind on another emotional night for the Dallas Stars.
Cammalleri scored two goals, Corban Knight netted the winner in a shootout, and the Flames erased a two-goal deficit in the third period to beat the Stars 4-3 on Friday night.
It was the first home game for Dallas since forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench Monday because of an irregular heartbeat.
“It’s kind of something that we’ve been doing pretty well as of late,” Cammalleri said. “Whatever the score is coming into the third period and putting out all that we have and trying to keep going and stick with what we’re trying to do. Sometimes you’re rewarded.”
The Stars blew a valuable point in their bid to hang on to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and they weren’t happy about it. But the loss was secondary to another step toward getting back to the business of hockey.
The first was a 3-2 overtime win at St. Louis, the top team in the NHL, a night after Peverley’s collapse. The second was seeing their teammate for the first time at practice Thursday.
And then came Friday, when he surprised them by showing up in the locker room before they returned to the bench four nights after he collapsed there early in a game against Columbus and had to be revived in a nearby tunnel. The game was postponed.
“It brings a smile to your face to see him here at the arena and around the guys,” forward Erik Cole said. “Hopefully, it was good for him to be around the guys. We enjoyed seeing him and just to hang out with him.”
The 31-year-old Peverley, who was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in training camp, is out for the season. He will soon undergo a procedure designed to correct the condition.
Peverley got a standing ovation when he was shown on the video board, briefly waving from a suite but mostly clapping with a stoic look both times he was shown. A fan held a sign that said “Heart of a champion” with Peverley’s No. 17 outlined in red by the shape of a heart.
One of the linesmen, Pierre Racicot, clapped at center ice while the crowd roared, and the Stars banged their sticks on the boards in front of the bench, a universal clapping sign in hockey.
They were doing the same thing Monday, but then it was a frantic attempt to get the attention of game officials after Peverley collapsed.
“It was awesome that the crowd gave him a great ovation,” forward Jamie Benn said. “There were probably 20 smiling faces on the bench banging our sticks for him.”
With the Flames trailing 3-1 with 7 minutes left in regulation, Calgary’s Paul Byron lifted a shot past goalie Tim Thomas from in front late in a power play.
Cammalleri then got behind Thomas and stuffed in a loose puck for his second tying goal of the game with 4:30 remaining.
“On both goals, we got on the wrong side of the man,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “We had some problems defensively. We spent more time in our zone than we needed to. We lost some battles.”
The Flames had most of the best chances in overtime, and Sean Monahan kept them alive in the shootout by slipping a shot between Thomas’ pads after Jordie Benn started the final round by scoring for the Stars.
Calgary’s Joey MacDonald, playing for the first time since Nov. 1 after getting sent to the minors, stopped Tyler Seguin to start the first extra round of the shootout. Knight easily beat Thomas with a wrist shot to prevent Dallas from winning a season-high fourth straight game.
“Joey MacDonald has been very good for us since the start,” coach Bob Hartley said. “He was sent down but he never said a word, kept working, and he played a big, big part in our win.”
Jamie Benn put Dallas ahead 2-1 with his career-high 27th goal of the season when he won a faceoff and headed for the front of the net. Seguin sent a pass through the crease to Trevor Daley, who found Benn alone with MacDonald out of position.
A little more than 2 minutes later, Cole redirected a shot from Brenden Dillon past MacDonald for a 3-1 lead.
“This time of year with these points being so valuable, you can’t give up a 3-1 lead in the third,” Jamie Benn said. “We were lucky to get one point.”