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Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz: Sharks, Avalanche set for Game 7

Winner to play Blues in Western Conference Final

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz, a daily in-depth look at the 2019 NHL playoffs. There was one Game 7 on Tuesday, and there will be another to conclude the second round Wednesday.

On Tap

The fifth Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the final game of the second round will be played Wednesday:

Colorado Avalanche at San Jose Sharks (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS): The Sharks will play their second Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and could have forward Joe Pavelski in the lineup. Pavelski hasn't played since being injured in the Sharks' Game 7 win against the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round. The Avalanche will look to become the first team in the series to win consecutive games. The winner of this game will play the Blues in the Western Conference Final.

 

About last night

Here is what happened on Day 28 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

St. Louis Blues 2, Dallas Stars 1 (2OT): Pat Maroon scored at 5:50 of the second overtime to put the Blues into the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2016. The goal came on the Blues' 54th shot on goal against Dallas goalie Ben Bishop. It was the third Game 7 to be decided in overtime in the 2019 playoffs, marking the first time at least three Game 7s have gone to OT. The Blues will play either the Colorado Avalanche or San Jose Sharks in the conference final.

 

What we learned

Here are some takeaways from Day 28 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

 

Bishop delivers Vezina-worthy performance in Game 7

Ben Bishop kept saying he was fine after he was hit near his collarbone on a shot by St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko in the third period of Game 6. The Vezina Trophy finalist wasn't kidding. Despite losing in double overtime, the Stars goalie was incredible in making an NHL career-high 52 saves on 54 shots in Game 7. As the Stars struggled to muster any offense against the Blues, Bishop gave them a chance in regulation and then in overtime, and again in double overtime. Bishop has played in three Game 7s in his NHL career and this was the first time he allowed any goals. Yet this may have been his best performance of the three.

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Blues move on to Conference Final

 

Depth makes Blues dangerous

It took double overtime for the Blues to defeat the Stars in Game 7 and advance to the Western Conference Final but the 2-1 score was deceiving. The Blues dominated this game and outshot the Stars 54-30, limiting them to one shot on goal in the second period and three in the third. If not for Dallas goalie Ben Bishop, St. Louis would easily have won in regulation. The Blues advanced despite a sputtering power play that went 2-for-22 in the series. Top six forwards Ryan O'Reilly and Brayden Schenn have combined to score three goals in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Enter wing Pat Maroon, who scored winning goals in two of the four victories against Dallas including Game 7. The Blues' depth will make them a hard out moving forward, especially if O'Reilly and Schenn start scoring.

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