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5 things to know: Stars can't hold off Blues in Game 3 defeat

Dallas comes up on the short end of a frantic third period, falling behind St. Louis 2-1 in the second-round series

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars fall in Game 3, 4-3

DAL Recap: Stars drop Game 3 after late goal

Tyler Seguin tied it up with about four minutes left in the 3rd, but the Stars suffered a 4-3 loss to the Blues after allowing a late goal

  • 05:19 •

The Dallas Stars overcame one-goal deficits three times Monday night, including twice in the third period. But St. Louis forward Patrick Maroon scored with 1:38 remaining to give the Blues a lead the Stars couldn't overcome.

The result was a 4-3 win for the Blues, who took a 2-1 series lead in the second-round playoff series.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night in Dallas.

 

[RELATED: Watch all Stars vs. Blues highlights from Game 3 | Stars Playoff Central]

 

Alexander Radulov, Andrew Cogliano, and Tyler Seguin all scored goals for the Stars, and Ben Bishop stopped 29 shots.

Here are five things to know from Monday's game.

 
1. Stars fall in back-and-forth third period

Monday's Game 3 was not for the faint of heart, especially the last seven minutes of the third period. The two teams combined for four goals in a 5:16 span as the Stars tied the game twice only to see the St. Louis regain the lead twice, for good when Patrick Maroon tallied with 1:38 remaining to put the Blues ahead 4-3.

"It was a great playoff game. It was back and forth, both teams were giving what they had," said Stars coach Jim Montgomery. "I just thought the Blues did a better job of possessing pucks in the offensive zone than we did and that led to us making mistakes because we had to defend a lot."

"Obviously, the amount of times we can come back, it's a frustrating one in the end to lose like that," added Stars center Jason Spezza. "But I feel like that probably wasn't our best game we can play, and we still had a chance to win, so we have to watch it, regroup and get ready for the next one."

The Blues took a 1-0 lead just 1:27 into the game on a goal by Jaden Schwartz, who deflected a Colton Parayko shot into the net. The Stars answered late in the first on their first power play of the night. Justin Dowling and Esa Lindell won a puck battle along the boards to get the puck to Spezza, whose slick pass from the bottom of the right circle was finished off by Alexander Radulov in the slot at the 17:12 mark.

Video: STL@DAL, Gm3: Radulov roofs feed from Spezza for PPG

The Blues grabbed a 2-1 lead at 8:30 of the second on a goal by Tyler Bozak, who pushed the puck over the goal line after a Robert Thomas shot got behind Stars goaltender Ben Bishop.

It stayed a 2-1 game until the Blues went on a power play with 7:54 remaining in the third, but it was the Stars who capitalized, scoring shorthanded to tie the game. Mattias Janmark drove the net, got the puck on goal, and Andrew Cogliano scored on the rebound to make it a 2-2 game with 6:54 remaining.

Video: STL@DAL, Gm3: Cogliano buries rebound for SHG

But just 1:18 later, and 17 seconds after their power play had expired, Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo scored off a blast from just beyond the top of the left circle and St. Louis had a 3-2 lead with 5:36 left.

And just 1:28 later the Stars tied it when Miro Heiskanen set up Tyler Seguin, who scored from close range and it was a 3-3 game with 4:08 left in regulation.

Video: STL@DAL, Gm3: Seguin buries Heiskanen's great feed

But just 2:30 later, the Blues took the lead for good on a goal by Maroon, who scored from close range to give the Blues a 4-3 lead that would hold up the rest of the way. Dallas got a power play with 43 seconds left but was unable to cash in, and St. Louis had a 2-1 series lead.

"Hard to explain. I'll tell you what, it's playoffs," said Pietrangelo. "We've had a few of those against Winnipeg (in the first round). Just keep playing and you never know sometimes."

"It's talked about all the time in the playoffs, we're not going to get too low after this one," said Seguin. "They are a heck of a hockey team over there, and it's not going to be easy. They've got the advantage now, so we've got to come out and respond at home this next game."

Video: Seguin says Stars were 'outworked' in Game 3 defeat

 

2. Blues finish with advantage in zone-time battle

Shot attempts favored the Stars in Monday night's game, 68-59. Shots on goal were close, at 33-30, St. Louis. And the Blues had a 21-17 edge in high-danger chances.

But when it came to offensive zone time, the Blues had a huge advantage -- a more than three-minute advantage. According to pointhockey.com, the Blues had 7:50 of offensive zone time to 4:36 for the Stars. Through two periods St. Louis had a 5:03 to 2:46 advantage.

"I think they had a lot of zone time, for the most part," said Stars forward Andrew Cogliano. "They're a good cycle team, that's their strength of their team. We have to find a way to stop pucks from getting near the goal line, and we got to make it harder on them to create and have time down there."

"We want to be a team that carries the play and plays in the offensive zone all night. They're a good team. I thought they were a little bit smarter than us tonight," added Stars defenseman Ben Lovejoy. "This Dallas Stars team works really hard. Tonight, we weren't quite smart enough with how we did that. We didn't put ourselves in a position for that work to help us to succeed."

The St. Louis line of Patrick Maroon, Tyler Bozak, and Robert Thomas proved to be a handful for the Stars. That trio scored two goals on the night, including the game-winner by Maroon.

"That line, it didn't matter who we put out against them, they seemed to have their way with us," said Stars coach Jim Montgomery. "We got to do a better job of taking away time and space. We got to have our second layer there quicker, which means when they move it and we're able to get pressure on the puck, we've got to have someone coming there to win that loose puck battle."

Video: Montgomery shares thoughts on Stars' Game 3 loss

 

3. Stars winning special teams battle, but 5-on-5 is a different story

The Stars won the special teams battle Monday night, scoring once on the power play, once shorthanded and killing off both St. Louis power plays. The Stars have been winning the special teams battle in the series. They have two power-play goals to one for St. Louis, and they've scored the shorthanded goal as well.

Five-on-five play, however, has been a different story. The Stars were outscored 4-1 during 5-on-5 play Monday and have been outscored 7-3 for the series.

"I think we won the special teams battle. I liked our penalty kill, and I liked our power play," Montgomery said. "But 5-on-5 is how you're going to win in the playoffs, and that's the area of the game that we need to improve upon."

Video: Bogorad, Razor recap Stars' wild Game 3 against Blues

 

4. Blues keep winning on the road

The Blues remained perfect on the road in the playoffs, moving to 4-0 away from home this postseason.

"I don't know; can't explain it, but we have been a good road team all year," said Blues coach Craig Berube. "Our road record has been fantastic all year. I thought, right from the get-go, we were engaged right away in the game, and we were aggressive, and it sets the tone for us for the game."

The Blues got a big game from their third line of Pat Maroon, Tyler Bozak, and Robert Thomas, who chipped in two goals. That line was a plus-7 in shot attempts 5-on-5 and a plus-4 in high-danger scoring chances.

"We talked as a line, and we went over some things that we had to do better," Maroon said. "In the first two games, we didn't get to our game. Our line is (best) below to the top of the circles. Grind them down low and wear their (defense) down.

"We did a really, really good job of that and we've got to continue to do that."

Video: Spezza says Game 4 now 'becomes a big one' for Stars

 

5. Stars drop to .500 at home in postseason

The Stars are 2-2 at home in the playoffs. ... Alexander Radulov and Jamie Benn co-led the Stars with four shots on goal each. ... John Klingberg led the Stars with 10 shot attempts. ... Andrew Cogliano led Dallas with four high-danger chances. ... The Stars were 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. ... The Stars won 45 of 72 faceoffs (63 percent). Tyler Seguin won 14 of 19 faceoffs (74 percent). Radek Faksa won 14 of 20 (70 percent). ... Miro Heiskanen led the Stars with 25:29 of ice time.

Here's the lineup the Stars used to start Monday's game.

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Jason Dickinson - Roope Hintz - Mats Zuccarello
Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Mattias Janmark - Justin Dowling - Jason Spezza

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen - Roman Polak
Taylor Fedun - Ben Lovejoy

Ben Bishop
Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Tyler Pitlick, Valeri Nichushkin, Brett Ritchie, Julius Honka, Landon Bow, Joel Hanley, Dillon Heatherington, Gavin Bayreuther, Denis Gurianov, Joel L'Esperance, Nick Caamano, Adam Mascherin

Injured: Jamie Oleksiak (lower body)

Injured Reserve: Martin Hanzal (back), Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches), Marc Methot (knee surgery)

For complete postseason coverage, visit Stars Playoff Central.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mark Stepneski has covered the Stars for DallasStars.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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