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Stars' season ends with double OT loss in Game 7

Bishop sparkles with a 52-save performance, but St. Louis eliminates Dallas to advance to the Conference Final

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Ben Bishop put on a spectacular Game 7 goaltending performance Tuesday night in St. Louis, stopping 52 shots. But Pat Maroon's goal at 5:50 of the second overtime lifted St. Louis to a 2-1 victory that sent the Blues to the Western Conference Final and ended the Stars' season.

"I guess the first word that comes is frustrated," said Bishop. "There was a good opportunity there and just a little frustrated right now, tough to end your season in OT."

 

[MIKE HEIKA: Stars prove future is bright despite heartbreaking end in Game 7]

 

"I'm pretty empty right now," said Stars defenseman John Klingberg. "You're right in it, you're playing in overtime, could reach the conference final and then you lose like that. It's tough."

Mats Zuccarello scored the lone goal for the Stars.

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

 

1. Bishop gives Stars a chance with sparkling effort

Tuesday night was the Ben Bishop Show.

After a first period in which both teams scored, territorial play tilted the Blues' way. They had a 54-30 advantage in shots on goal for the game including 31-4 over the final 40 minutes of regulation. Bishop brilliantly kept Dallas in the game and got them into overtime where the Stars seemed to get their game going a bit and generated some good chances.

But the Stars simply couldn't get that second goal before St. Louis.

"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," said Stars coach Jim Montgomery. "I thought they were in Game 6 and I thought they were in Game 7. They continued to get better, and we stagnated."

"Pretty empty (feeling)," said Stars center Tyler Seguin. "What a game by Bish. He was incredible tonight. Really wish we could have got him one."

The Blues opened the scoring at 13:30 of the first on a goal by Vince Dunn, who scored from the left point on a shot that appeared to deflect off traffic. The Stars drew even a little more than two and a half minutes later. As Blues forward David Perron tried to send the puck behind his net, it hit the skate of the referee bounced, to the front of the net and Stars forward Mats Zuccarello scored to tie the game 1-1 at the 15:55 mark.

Video: DAL@STL, Gm7: Zuccarello scores off favorable bounce

And then the ice tilted the Blues' way and Bishop held the fort for the Stars. The Blues dominated the second period, outshooting the Stars 18-1 but it was still a 1-1 after 40 minutes thanks to Bishop and the Dallas penalty kill, which shut down two St. Louis power plays in the period.

The Stars' lone shot in the second came from Seguin, who got a good look from about 20 feet, and then Jamie Benn backhanded the rebound just wide of the open side of the net.

The Blues had a 13-3 shots advantage in the third to make it a 31-4 over the final two periods of regulation.  

Video: DAL@STL, Gm7: Bishop denies bid from Perron

The Stars found their legs as the game moved into overtime and had a couple of great chances in extra playing time. Andrew Cogliano backhanded the puck wide at open side of the net with 6:03 left in the first overtime and Jamie Benn came extremely close to scoring on a wrap-around at 4:19 of the second overtime but was stopped by Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington.

But the Blues finally broke the 1-1 tie at 5:50 of the second overtime. After Tyler Bozak won a faceoff in the Dallas zone, Robert Thomas put a shot on net that hit the post and got behind Bishop and Pat Maroon put the puck over the goal line to give St. Louis the win.

"It's frustrating to lose in an overtime and then to lose season-ending, it's frustrating right now," said Bishop. "When you don't have a chance to wake up tomorrow and practice or think about where you are going to play next it's sombering." 

Video: DAL@STL, Gm7: Bishop kicks out Edmundson's quick shot

 

2. 'Bish' mode

Ben Bishop set a career-high with his 52 saves and became just the fifth goaltender to make 50 or more saves in a Game 7 since 1955-56. This was Bishop's third game seven, and his numbers are impressive. He won his first two, both shutouts in 2015 when he was with Tampa Bay.

He stopped 53 shots in those two previous Game 7s and when you add in 52 saves on 54 shots Tuesday, he has stopped 105 of 107 shots for a save percentage of .981 in winner-take-all Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"He's just a great competitor and a great goaltender," said Stars coach Jim Montgomery. "He's up for the Vezina trophy for a reason. He's an extremely talented goaltender, and he manages the game really well."

Said Stars center Tyler Seguin: "Bish played amazing, best game I've seen him play, I think. We just couldn't get him one."

There was praise from the other side as well.

"He was their best player," said Blues forward Pat Maroon. "That's why he's up for the Vezina; that's why he's an elite goalie in this league."

Video: DAL@STL, Gm7: Bishop makes save on deflection

 

3. Montgomery's message after the loss

Stars coach Jim Montgomery was asked about his message to the team following Tuesday's 2-1 double overtime loss to St. Louis that ended their season.

"I just told them that I appreciated their effort, I appreciated how much we grew together as a group, and the effort and sacrifice they put together," Montgomery said.

"There's a lot of players who are playing with some bad injuries right now. As a coach, you appreciate how much they gave to be a Dallas Star, try to help us advance in the playoffs. I don't know if you guys did, but I know a lot of people wrote us off at the All-Star break, and we grew, and we overcome a lot of adversity.

"So, there's a lot to like, and I think that next year we're going to be able to start in a real good place, because there's going to be a lot of familiarity starting next year."

Video: DAL@STL, Gm7: Blues, Stars shake hands after 2OT

 

4. Blues moving on to Western Conference Final

Win their win Tuesday, the Blues will advance to the Western Conference Final for the second time in the past four seasons. They'll play the winner of the San Jose-Colorado series which is tied 3-3. Game 7 is Wednesday in San Jose.

Blues forward Pat Maroon scored two-game winners in the series against the Stars - notching a late goal in Game 3 that gave St. Louis a 4-3 victory and then the goal in the second overtime Tuesday that gave the Blues a 2-1 win in Game 7.

This is every kid's dream, and to do it tonight is very special, especially with my whole family in the stands," said Maroon, a St. Louis native. "We deserved that win tonight. It hasn't really all hit me. What a rollercoaster. It's emotional for sure. Probably the biggest goal I've scored in my career."

Goaltender Jordan Binnington stopped 29 shots, none bigger than his save on a Jamie Benn wrap-around a minute and a half before Maroon's game-winner.

"No one's really going to talk about Binner's save on Jamie Benn, but what a save that was," said Maroon. "And what a turning point that was and we found a way to capitalize."

Video: DAL@STL, Gm7: Stars and Blues take it to double OT

 

5. Stars' penalty kill brilliant again

The Blues outshot the Stars 54-30 and had a 103-57 advantage in shot attempts. According to naturalstattrick.com, scoring chances were 42-28, St. Louis. High-danger chances were 13-11, Dallas. Radek Faksa led the Stars with five shots on goal. John Klingberg and Jamie Benn co-led Dallas with eight shot attempts each.

The Stars were 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and had no power-play chances. St. Louis had a 22-14 advantage in power-play opportunities in the series. The Stars were 35-for-37 on the penalty kill (94.6 percent) during the playoffs.

The Stars won 44 of 96 faceoffs (46 percent). Faksa won 17 of 26 faceoffs (65 percent). Roope Hintz won 8 of 21 (38 percent). Tyler Seguin won 9 of 28 (32 percent).

Esa Lindell led the Stars with 37:45 of ice time. John Klingberg was next with 36;27.

Hintz and Alexander Radulov co-led the Stars in goal scoring with 5 each. Seguin and Mats Zuccarello were tops with 11 points each.

Ben Bishop finished the playoffs with a 2.22 goals-against average and .933 save percentage.

Here is the lineup the Stars used to start the game:

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

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

Ben Bishop
Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Mattias Janmark, Tyler Pitlick, Joel Hanley, Dillon Heatherington, Valeri Nichushkin, Julius Honka, Landon Bow, 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)

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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