The difference between the Blues and Stars in Game 7? It was goaltending. St. Louis netminder Brian Elliott was outstanding and the Stars’ duo of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi left much to be desired.
On 19 shots, the pair of Stars netminders team up to turn aside only 13, as the Blues walked to a decisive 6-1 Game 7 victory. And on a night both goaltenders were subpar, of course it was the worst goal either allowed that ended up going down in the record books as the game-winning goal.
Late in the first period, Paul Stastny found himself at the side of the Stars’ net with no one covering him. Stastny took a short pass from Troy Brouwer, and the Blues center simply turned and fired the puck on goal, where Lehtonen was up against the post and seemingly sealing off any holes. And it was only seemingly, because Stastny’s shot somehow got through Lehtonen to put the Blues up 2-0 late in the opening period: Read more
Robby Fabbri almost didn’t make the St. Louis Blues this season. And he was almost a healthy scratch in the first round of the playoffs. Seems crazy right about now, doesn’t it?
Regardless of which team wins tomorrow night’s Game 7 between the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators, Fabbri will be the youngest player in the conference finals. He might also be the most unlikely, the most fun to watch, the most determined and the most involved. And if he keeps this up, he might just be a Stanley Cup champion, the top scorer in the playoffs and the Conn Smythe Trophy winner when it’s all said and done.
The Stars’ season is on the line Wednesday night against the St. Louis Blues, but even with Tyler Seguin once again taking part in practice, Dallas is going to have to try to keep their playoff run alive without the star winger.
Seguin has missed all but one of the Stars’ 22 games — his only reprieve from injury coming in Game 2 against the Minnesota Wild on April 16 — but Dallas got some seemingly great news when the 24-year-old took part in Tuesday’s skate. However, following practice, Stars coach Lindy Ruff delivered the bad news. While Seguin is able to take part in practice and has been “ramping up” his skating, according to Ruff, he’s not quite ready for game action. And that includes Game 7.
“He’s not available to play right now,” Ruff said Tuesday. “I’m not going to try to deceive you at all. He’s not ready to play yet. He’s just hit his next step on the way back again. He’s closer than he was a couple days ago.” Read more
The Stars held off the St. Louis Blues in Monday’s Game 6 to push their second-round series to a seventh and deciding game, and Dallas did so without the services of veteran winger Travis Moen.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff addressed Moen’s absence from the lineup following Game 6, and the outlook didn’t sound good for the 34-year-old winger. Ruff said Moen won’t be available for Game 7 on Wednesday night, and even if the Stars take the seventh game and move on to the Western Conference final, Ruff said Moen won’t be back.
“He got injured in the game at home,” Ruff said. “He’s done for the playoffs.” Read more
It didn’t feel like the St. Blues lost Game 6 at home to the Dallas Stars. Especially if you missed the first period, when the Stars exploded for three goals. After falling behind 3-0, St. Louis outshot Dallas 37-14. The last 40 minutes looked like a Blues power play. They scored twice and posted a 5-on-5 Corsi edge of 75-25.
But guess what? The Blues still lost. They couldn’t find the tying goal, not even when Jaden Schwartz got a 10-bell chance in the dying moments, which Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen turned away with an epic pad save. St. Louis looked like the better team for much of Game 6, but it wasn’t enough. Now the Blues head back to Dallas for Game 7 with the possibility of Stars sniper Tyler Seguin returning from his Achilles injury.
And two questions linger.
Well, that didn’t quite go as planned for the St. Louis Blues. The stage was set for a Game 6 triumph against the Dallas Stars. The Blues were at home, up 3-2 in the series and on the brink of advancing to their first Western Conference final since 2001.
But Blues goaltender Brian Elliott, who had a .932 save percentage in the 2016 post-season before Monday, was not himself. He fought the puck early and simply couldn’t make a save.
Left winger Mattias Janmark struck with a seemingly harmless wrist shot 4:53 into the first period:
The Dallas Stars have their backs against the wall heading into Monday’s Game 6 against the St. Louis Blues, but the Stars will have to attempt to keep their season alive without the services of star winger Tyler Seguin.
Meeting with media Sunday, Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Seguin won’t even make the trip to St. Louis, so any hope Dallas might have had for seeing their second-best offensive threat take the ice in Game 6 is extremely thin. In previewing the contest, the Stars website listed Seguin as out.
Seguin, 24, has only suited up once in the past 21 games for Dallas after suffering a 15 percent cut of his Achilles tendon less than a month before the start of the post-season. Seguin’s one game, which came almost a month to the day after his March 17 injury, saw him skate 15:40 against the Minnesota Wild in Game 2 of the first-round series. He hasn’t been back in the lineup since. Read more
The Dallas Stars had the second-best home record in the entire NHL in the regular season. You wouldn’t know that through five games of their series against St. Louis, though, and if the old adage says a team isn’t in trouble in a series until they lose a playoff game on home ice, the Stars might be wading into exceptionally dangerous territory.
In Game 5, the Blues went into the American Airlines Center and skated away with a 4-1 victory, and they’ve now got the Stars up against the ropes with a 3-2 series lead heading back to St. Louis for Game 6.
For once, however, Dallas’ biggest concern following a loss isn’t the play of their netminder. Sure, Kari Lehtonen was beaten three times in Game 5, but the goals against came on a fortunate deflection, on a rebound following an awesome pad save and after a piece of abysmal defensive-zone coverage by the Stars. If anything, Lehtonen was the only reason the score wasn’t more lopsided. The Blues’ third goal, which was scored by Troy Brouwer, came with the Stars blowing coverage in such a way that Brouwer was able to set up shop with no one covering him right at the side of the net. Read more