Blues Shoot Down Stars in Dominating Fashion

Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop lays on the ice in pain after absorbing a Colton Parayko slapshot in his collarbone area. Other Stars players look skyward awaiting the replay to see what happened. (Tony Gutierrez/AP photo)

BISHOP LEAVES GAME IN THIRD AFTER BEING KNOCKED DOWN BY PARAYKO SLAPSHOT

DALLAS, TX – Everything about the St. Louis Blues season was on the line Sunday in Dallas. The miraculous run since January 2nd with the best record in hockey down the stretch could have been the crowning jewel to their season, had they lost today.

Setting a franchise record for consecutive wins with 11 straight in February might have become just another answer to a trivia question in 10-15 years. The emergence of the rookie phenom goaltender could have faded into another ‘what have you done for me lately’ story in a couple of seasons.

But, that didn’t happen. The season lives on. There will be a game seven in St. Louis on Tuesday.

The Blues, playing for their playoff lives in game six put on a dominating performance in Dallas that sent the Vezina finalist goalie, Ben Bishop to the showers early and many of the Stars fans trying to beat the traffic rush. It was evident their team didn’t have what it took to beat the Blues today.

FIRST PERIOD

The Blues came out flying and playing like they weren’t ready for this season to end. They, like the rest of us, wanted to hear Charles Glenn sing the National Anthem at least one more time.

Just one minute and three seconds after the puck drop the Blues had found the back of the net. The play started with a nice backcheck by Oskar Sundqvist at center ice. St. Louis went on the attack as Alex Pietrangelo scored his 2nd goal of the playoffs from the point. The shot was aided by traffic in front from Brayden Schenn and was assisted by Joel Edmundson and Jaden Schwartz.

Penalties marred the rest of the first period. There were three called on each team.

Dallas took advantage of one power play when Tyler Seguin got his 4th goal of the playoffs on the only mistake Jordan Binnington would make all game. Seguin took the shot from close range when Mats Zuccarello found him right in front. The puck trickled through the leg pads of Binnington and may have stayed out of the net, but Seguin followed his shot and poked the puck across the line on his second attempt. Jamie Benn got the secondary assist on the goal.

The goal came at the 11:35 mark of the period, and it was the last time we would hear the Dallas goal horn in this series.

SECOND PERIOD

There wasn’t a lot to write about in the middle frame, but the Blues got another goal at the 15:24 mark when Sundqvist threw a puck towards the net. David Perron held scoreless for the past eight games, somehow got his stick on the puck as he tapped it into an empty backside with Dallas defenseman John Klingberg all over him but failing to tie up Perron. Ivan Barbashev got the other assist on the goal.

THIRD PERIOD

As much as St. Louis wanted to hang on and win this one, I’m sure Dallas wished to mount a comeback and not have to return to Enterprise Center for game seven. But, the Blues came out with guns blazing. They not only outshot the Stars 11-7 in the final period but one of those 11 shots was a cannon off the stick of Colton Parayko at the 7:33 mark. The bullet hit Bishop in what looked like the left shoulder around the collar bone. Bishop stopped the shot, but it knocked him backward, and he didn’t immediately recover. The puck bounced out in front of the goal where Alexander Steen found it and sent it back towards the net.

On its path toward the net, the puck was deflected by Jaden Schwartz and into an open net as Bishop was still sprawled out on the ice. It would be Schwartz’ 8th goal of the playoffs and gave the Blues a 3-1 lead with 12:23 left to play.

Bishop was attended to by the Dallas trainer but remained in the game, but not for long. Thirty-three seconds later Ryan O’Reilly poked a puck out of the Blues defensive zone and into neutral ice. Sammy Blais skated ahead of him, and O’Reilly pushed the puck on to Blais.

Blais, playing in his first-ever playoff game took a couple of strides through center ice and coasted into the offensive zone. He wound up and launched a slapshot that beat Bishop over his right shoulder. The goal gave the Blues a 4-1 lead, and that was all for Bishop. Anton Khudobin replaced him.

Dallas pulled the goalie with just under 5 minutes left but could never mount a serious threat as Alexander Radulov held O’Reilly’s stick in the final minute of play.

FINAL THOUGHTS

There was some discussion amongst fans and pundits as to whether the refs should have blown the play dead when Bishop went down, but the puck was still loose. Dallas coach, Jim Montgomery told the media that he didn’t have a problem with them not blowing the whistle.

Speculation over Bishop’s condition will be a hot topic until game time on Tuesday. Will he play or is he injured? Regardless, although Khudobin hasn’t started a game in the playoffs yet this season, his regular season numbers were good. He had a 2.57 GAA and a Save percentage of .923.

Jordan Binnington stopped 22 of 23 shots today. The team limited the Stars chances, but Binnington stopped some significant opportunities once again.

Game 7 coming up. Since the Carolina/Islanders series is over, the Blues game will be a 7 PM start. Let’s go Blues!

 

 

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