The best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round series between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues deserves a Game 7. Each team has found a way to dig itself out of multiple holes, within games and in the series. Game 6, a 4-1 victory for the Blues on Sunday, is the only game decided by more than two goals, and five of the six games have been within a goal during the third period.
So who wins Game 7 at St. Louis on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS)? Here is how five NHL.com staff members see the deciding game unfolding to determine who will play the winner of the series between the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Final.
Adam Kimelman, deputy managing editor
Seeing goalie Ben Bishop writhing in pain on the ice during Game 6 and then skate to the locker room, it felt like the Stars' Stanley Cup hopes were going out with him. But Bishop will be back for Game 7, and his presence tilts the series in favor of the Stars. Although home ice has meant very little -- the road team is 4-2 -- Bishop has been exceptional on the road in the playoffs with a .935 save percentage in six games. Add in his big-game experience, and a healthy Bishop means Dallas will advance to the Western Conference Final. Final score: Stars 3, Blues 1
Mike G. Morreale, staff writer
Having the courage to go against the grain seems like the only way to predict what might happen in the 2019 playoffs, especially in Game 7. I did that when choosing the Carolina Hurricanes over the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round, but is there really a favorite in Game 7 between the Blues and Stars? They're evenly matched and have received timely goals and solid goaltending at certain stages of every game. I think Blues goalie Jordan Binnington will seize the moment at home and give the Blues two straight wins for the first time in this series. Final score: Blues 3, Stars 2
Tracey Myers, staff writer
I've been wrong on my past few guesses on game results in this series so good luck to me picking the final one. In my defense, this has been a tough series to gauge. Outside of Binnington and Bishop being great, no one has stood out. You would think the Blues would have all the momentum, given their Game 6 win, but I have a hunch they don't. They haven't played as well at home as on the road, so I'm going with Dallas. Final score: Stars 3, Blues 1
Video: Blais' first career playoff goal send Blues to Game 7
Dave Stubbs, columnist
Look, my first-round bracket was too weak to hold an empty shelf, so don't look to me for wisdom. Having covered Games 3 and 4, I'm a firm believer that momentum is a non-factor; every game has its own chemistry and physics, but I'll contradict myself here. The Blues, 2-4 on home ice this postseason, are going to ride their Game 6 victory to something good enough to send the Stars packing and move to within eight victories of their first championship. Final score: Blues 4, Stars 2
Mike Zeisberger, staff writer
My batting average in terms of first-round picks was an ugly .125 (1-for-7), but the one I did get right was the Boston Bruins against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7. In the past 13 months, I've become Mr. Game 7 of NHL.com. Five of the past six series I've covered have gone seven games (2018: Bruins-Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets-Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals-Tampa Bay Lightning; 2019: Bruins-Maple Leafs, Blues-Stars). The biggest lesson learned here: Game 7 is predictable only in its unpredictability, so I'm going with my gut and picking the Blues. Their power play is 2-for-20, Brayden Schenn and Ryan O'Reilly have combined for just three playoff goals, and yet they still have a chance to advance. You have to admire a team that can overcome itself. Final score: Blues 3, Stars 1
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