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Bishop's 52 saves not enough for Stars in Game 7

Denied Western Final by Blues with double-overtime goal

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- There are a number of words that could be used to describe Ben Bishop's performance against the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round.

Tremendous, outstanding, focused, the Dallas Stars goalie was all of those making an NHL career-high 52 saves. But in the end, he was feeling one emotion.

"The first word that comes is frustrated," Bishop said after the Stars lost to the Blues 2-1 in double overtime at Enterprise Center on Tuesday. "… It's frustrating to lose in an overtime, and then to lose a season-ending [game], it's frustrating right now."

 

[RELATED: Complete Blues vs. Stars series coverage]

 

The Blues advanced to the Western Conference Final, where they'll play the Colorado Avalanche or the San Jose Sharks. That Game 7 is at San Jose on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

"The Blues played better; they earned the right to move on," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. "We almost got it because of Ben Bishop, and we were getting better throughout the game. It didn't materialize."

Bishop made nine saves in the first period, 18 in the second, 13 in the third and 11 in the first overtime to surpass his previous playoff high of 47.

"Obviously you're in it and I was pretty busy," he said. "It wasn't like I had too much time on my hands."

Video: Bishop's 52 saves not enough for the Stars in Game 7

The way Bishop was playing, it was going to take something extraordinary, perhaps something fluky to beat him. And that's what happened.

Blues forward Robert Thomas hit the post with a shot, and the puck then hit Bishop before settling in the crease, where forward Pat Maroon tapped it in for the game-winner at 5:50 of the second overtime.

"I think it went off the post and then it hit me in the back of the head and then it just laid there," Bishop said. "I don't know, I haven't seen the replay. But yeah, it hit the post and then the back of my head. I haven't seen how [Maroon] got a hold of it."

After Dallas forward Mats Zuccarello tied the game 1-1 at 15:50 of the first period, the Stars had four more shots on goal through the end of the third period: Tyler Seguin's slap shot 9:58 into the second period, Esa Lindell's wrist shot 1:15 into the third, Andrew Cogliano's wrist shot 14:42 into the third, and Jamie Benn's wrist shot with 15 seconds remaining in the third.

"We didn't get any speed in our puck game. We didn't create a lot," Stars defenseman John Klingberg said. "Obviously, they just kept coming, but I think we did a good job riding it out and got it to overtime."

The Blues outshot the Stars 31-4 in the second and third period.

"I mean, they were coming," Seguin said. "We didn't find a way to adjust, I guess. We were getting told things to adjust obviously, but we just didn't do anything and didn't grab the momentum."

Video: DAL@STL, Gm7: Bishop kicks out Edmundson's quick shot

Benn nearly gave Bishop the win in the second overtime, but Blues goalie Jordan Binnington saved the wraparound attempt with his left pad. Maroon scored 1:31 later.

"I thought we played all right in overtime; we had our chances, just didn't score," Benn said. "Unbelievable game [for Bishop]. It's unfortunate we couldn't find a goal for him."

Bishop, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, given to the goalie voted best in the NHL this season, was a big reason Dallas got to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He's a big reason it had any kind of chance in overtime against St. Louis. And he did all he could to prevent this playoff exit.

"When you don't have a chance to wake up tomorrow and practice or think about where you are going to play next, it's kind of [sobering]," Bishop said.

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