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Instant analysis: Stars at Blues, Game 6

Dallas proves Elliott is not infallible, gets big saves from Lehtonen to force Game 7

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- Time to prepare for Game 7.

The Dallas Stars scored three goals in the first period on their way to a series-extending 3-2 win in Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round at Scottrade Center on Monday. Dallas started with two goals in 20 seconds, at 4:53 by Mattias Janmark and 5:13 by birthday-boy Vernon Fiddler, then got another at 16:49 from Jason Spezza on the power play.

The early onslaught took most of the excitement out of the building and though the Blues made it tight at the end, they ultimately couldn't come back.

What we learned: St. Louis goaltender Brian Elliott is not infallible. While the Stars had already pulled their goaltender twice in this series, Elliott had played every single minute for the Blues in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Well, until 16:49 of the first period Monday, that is. That was when Spezza scored the Stars' third goal, and when Blues coach Ken Hitchcock opted to remove Elliott from the game in favor of Jake Allen.

Video: DAL@STL, R6: Spezza finishes toe drag for PPG

What this means for the Stars: They're still alive, even if they did their best to give away their lead in Game 6. They now have a chance to move on to the conference final with a win at home Wednesday. It was not nearly as easy as it looked like it might be early on Monday, but they held on, in the end.

What this means for the Blues: They weren't able to close it out, again. Even though the Blues controlled the play in the second period, outshooting the Stars 14-5, they failed to end a series early, making this the third loss for the Blues in four games in which they could have eliminated their opponent in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Video: DAL@STL: Lehtonen's glove preserves one-goal lead

Key moment: With 31 seconds remaining, Kari Lehtonen made a huge save on Blues forward David Backes to keep the Stars in front by a goal. He followed that up, at 19:38, with a similarly huge save on Jaden Schwartz. That, in the end, was the difference in the game.

Unsung player of the game: Alexander Steen. The Blues forward could have been the unsung player in most of the games of this series, with his steady, settled play and his ability to get the most out of his linemates and teammates. In Game 6, Steen showed an impressive ability to keep the puck in the Stars zone, especially on a super-sized shift in the second period that eventually ended in a rebound goal for Steen, his fourth of the postseason.

Video: DAL@STL, Gm6: Steen bangs home juicy rebound

What's next: Game 7. St. Louis will play a Game 7 for the second straight series, when the Stars and Blues face off at American Airlines Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

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