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game recap

Blues defeat Stars in Game 7 in 2OT, advance to Western Final

Maroon wins it at 5:50; Bishop makes NHL career-high 52 saves in loss

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

Maroon wins Game 7 in double OT

DAL@STL, Gm7: Maroon's 2OT goal sends Blues to WCF

R2, Gm7: St. Louis native Pat Maroon scores in double overtime to clinch the series and send the Blues to the Western Conference Final

  • 02:43 •

ST. LOUIS -- Pat Maroon scored 5:50 into the second overtime, and the St. Louis Blues advanced to the Western Conference Final with a 2-1 win against the Dallas Stars in Game 7 of the second round at Enterprise Center on Tuesday.

After Tyler Bozak won an offensive-zone face-off, Maroon poked the puck to Robert Thomas, whose shot from low in the right circle hit the post and deflected off Stars goalie Ben Bishop's mask before Maroon tapped the rebound into the net.

"That's a face-off play we run all the time, and [Bozak's] a veteran player that wins face-offs, a lot of face-offs at key times," said Maroon, a native of St. Louis who also scored the game-winner with 1:38 left in Game 3, a 4-3 victory. "He won that, Thomas came around, made a great move around [Stars defenseman John Klingberg], hit the post, off the back of Bishop, and I just found the rebound. It's a greasy goal that I kind of score."

 

[WATCH: Stars vs. Blues Game 7 highlights | Complete series coverage]

 

Bishop made an NHL career-high 52 saves.

"I guess the first word that comes (to mind) is frustrated," he said. "There was a good opportunity there and just a little frustrated right now, tough to end your season in OT. ... But the guys did a good job and kind of have to look back on it in a few days." 

Jamie Benn almost scored on a wraparound for Dallas at 4:19 of the second overtime after Colton Parayko's clearing attempt had to be saved by Jordan Binnington at the left post.

"Obviously, we had lots of shots and the puck was in their end a lot of the game (outshot Dallas 31-4 in second and third period), and as a goalie you just have to be patient and stay composed and just believe in your team," said Binnington, who made 29 saves. "Pat Maroon came in huge."

St. Louis, which won the final two games of the best-of-7 series, will play either the San Jose Sharks or Colorado Avalanche, who will decide that second-round Stanley Cup Playoff series in Game 7 at San Jose on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Blues move on to Conference Final

It is the first time the Blues have advanced after trailing 3-2 in a series since the 1999 conference quarterfinals against the Phoenix Coyotes (trailed 3-1).

"I can't really describe the feeling," said Thomas, who had two assists. "That's kind of been the story of the season. When our backs are against the wall, we play our best and find a way to fight through it."

Mats Zuccarello scored for Dallas, which has lost two straight Game 7s to the Blues (2016 second round).

"I thought our goaltender was great, I thought a lot of players had good games, but overall, I thought the Blues were the better team," Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said. "I thought they were in Game 6 (a 4-1 loss) and I thought they were in Game 7. They continued to get better and we kind of stagnated."

"The Blues played better. Game 7, they played better, they earned the right to move on. We almost got it because of Ben Bishop, and we were getting better throughout the game, but it didn't materialize."

Video: Blues down Stars in seven, move on to West Final

Vince Dunn scored for St. Louis, which advanced to the conference final for the first time since 2016, when it lost to the Sharks in six games.

"It was a pretty good effort from the get-go," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "We threw everything there and gave it everything we had. They battled and they stayed in it. Their goalie had a great game, but our guys never quit and stayed with it."

Dunn scored his first NHL playoff goal to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead at 13:30 of the first period on a wrist shot from the left point that went off the right shoulder of Bishop. The goal was the first Bishop had allowed in his three Game 7s (two shutouts with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015).

Zuccarello tied it 1-1 at 15:55. After Blues forward David Perron's attempt to play the puck around the back of the net caromed off referee Marc Joannette into the slot, Zuccarello got the loose puck and scored off the left post before Binnington, who was looking the other way, could recover.

 

They said it

"Not good, pretty empty. What a game by [Bishop]. He was incredible tonight. Really wish we could have got him one." -- Stars center Tyler Seguin

"He played a [heck of a] game, [Bishop] played a [heck of a] series. We knew it wasn't going to be easy all series. I don't know what we ended up with, close to 60 (shots), but that's a lot of rubber for him. We just found a way." -- Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo

 

Need to know

It was the first overtime game of the best-of-7 series. It's the first time in NHL history three or more Game 7s have gone to OT in the same postseason (Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes and San Jose Sharks vs. Vegas Golden Knights in the first round). ... A Stars win would have given the New York Rangers their first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, but it remains a second-round pick from the Zuccarello trade of Feb. 23. ... Thomas (19 years, 309 days) became the first teenager in Blues history to get a point in Game 7. ... St. Louis is 9-8 in Game 7, Dallas is 5-8.

Video: Clutch Performance: Binnington shines Game 7 victory

 

What's next

Stars: Season over

Blues: Game 1 of the Western Conference Final (TBD)

Video: Maroon scores in double OT as Blues advance to WCF

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