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Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz: Bruins, Sharks eye conference finals

Blues, Stars headed to Game 7

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz, a daily in-depth look at the 2019 NHL playoffs. There are two Game 6s on Monday: 

 

On tap

Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS): Coach John Tortorella said the Blue Jackets will force a Game 7 "because we will." The Bruins, who saw their top line combine for three goals in their wild 4-3 win in Game 5 on Saturday, may have other plans. Boston looks to reach the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2013, when it lost the Cup Final to the Chicago Blackhawks.

San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS): Center Joe Pavelski, out since Game 7 of the first round, will travel to Denver with the Sharks and could play with San Jose one win from advancing to the Western Conference Final. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon was held off the scoresheet in a Game 5 loss. Colorado will need him to lead the offense if it expects to force a Game 7.

 

About last night

Here is what happened on Day 26 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

St. Louis Blues 4, Dallas Stars 1: Jaden Schwartz and Sammy Blais scored 33 seconds apart in the third period, and the St. Louis Blues forced a Game 7 in the Western Conference Second Round. Jordan Binnington made 22 saves, and Alex Pietrangelo and David Perron scored for the Blues, who are 5-1 on the road in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and have not allowed a third-period goal in any of those five wins. Ben Bishop gave up four goals, equaling his high of this postseason, on 20 shots for the Stars before leaving in the third period. He was replaced by Anton Khudobin, who made five saves.

 

What we learned

Here are some takeaways from Day 26 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

 

Stars weren't sharp

The Stars looked more laid back than determined in Game 6. It took them more than eight minutes in the first period to get a shot on Blues goalie Jordan Binnington. They were sloppy with the puck with 22 giveaways, including eight in the first. And once the Blues took a 3-1 lead in the third, the Stars didn't have much of a response. Coach Jim Montgomery said the Stars got too "individualistic" in the third, getting away from the group play that's been so successful for them this season.

 

Blues succeeding despite issues with big guns

That the Blues are heading to a Game 7 is defying the odds in many ways. Their power play is 2-for 20 against the Stars, which should be a recipe for disaster. Two of their top offensive players, Brayden Schenn (one) and Ryan O'Reilly (two), have combined to score three goals through 12 playoff games after they totaled 45 goals (O'Reilly 28, Schenn 17) during the regular season. It says a lot about the Blues' depth and resilience that they're one win away from the Western Conference Final.

Video: Blais' first career playoff goal send Blues to Game 7

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