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Stars can't close series at home as Blues force Game 7

St. Louis pulls away in the third period to set up a winner-take-all finale on Tuesday

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars fall to Blues in Game 6

DAL Recap: Seguin scores in Game 6 loss

Tyler Seguin scored to tie the game at 1 in the 1st, but the Stars surrendered three unanswered goals in a Game 6 loss

  • 03:57 •

The Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues are going to a Game 7.

The Blues defeated the Stars, 4-1, Sunday afternoon at American Airlines Center to tie their second-round series at 3-3. Game 7 will be Tuesday night at Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

Tyler Seguin scored the lone goal for the Stars while Jaden Schwartz tallied one goal and one assist for the Blues.

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

 

1. Stars can't close out series, shift focus to Game 7

The Stars had a chance to put the Blues away Sunday afternoon, but they couldn't and now it's on to a seventh and deciding game.

The Blues jumped on the Stars early, the Stars pushed back some, but St. Louis took the lead for good late in the second and put the game out of reach with two quick goals in the third.

"They played better," said Seguin. "They are a good team and responded well tonight. We expected them to come hard and they had a good start. We would have liked to have had a better start. But it doesn't matter what's happened now. It's one game now."

That one game will come Tuesday in St. Louis.

"It's exciting. What a great opportunity in front of us," said Stars captain Jamie Benn. "For both teams to go out there, battle it out for one game. Winner take all."

On Sunday, the Blues jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 63 seconds into the game on a goal by Alex Pietrangelo, whose shot from the point beat a screened Stars goaltender Ben Bishop.

The Stars drew even on the power play when Seguin took a cross-ice pass from Mats Zuccarello and put a shot through Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington from the slot at 11:35 of the first.

Video: STL@DAL, Gm6: Seguin scores from slot on power play

The Blues grabbed the lead for good late in the second with a goal on the rush. Oskar Sundqvist sent a pass from the bottom of the right circle to David Perron, who scored from the top of the crease at the 15:26 mark to put St. Louis up 2-1 going into the third period.

The Blues put the game away with two quick goals in the third. After Bishop was hit up high with a Colton Parayko shot and was down in the crease writhing in pain, Schwartz scored into the open net to make it a 3-1 game at the 7:37 mark. There was a question about if officials should have stopped play with Bishop down and in pain. Officials said they went by the book, and Stars head coach Jim Montgomery didn't dispute the call.

"That's a discretionary call on the ref if they think there's an injury there, and how significant is it?" Montgomery said.

"The refs saw it didn't hit him in the head, so they didn't blow the play down -- which is the right call, I guess," added Benn. "If we had a whistle, we probably would've blown it and if they had a whistle, they probably wouldn't."

Video: Benn: 'We knew this was going to be a long series'

So, with a determination of no significant injury, would have not been stopped until the Stars gained possession of the puck.

Bishop did stay in the game and just 33 seconds later Sammy Blais scored on a breakaway, beating him with a slap shot to make it 4-1. That ended the night for Bishop, who was replaced by Anton Khudobin.

As for an update on any possible injury issue with Bishop, Montgomery indicated there was none.

"[Bishop] is fine," Montgomery said. "Stayed in the game. He's fine. We just wanted to put Dobby in. He wasn't hurt. That's why we switched."

Khudobin stopped all five shots he faced the rest of the way as that 4-1 score held.

And now it's on to St. Louis for Game 7.

"We played a good team. They played a good game. We weren't good enough today. So, we get another chance in St. Louis," said Zuccarello. "It's a Game 7, we knew it was going to be a tight series. If you want to go far in the playoffs, usually you have to go through some Game 7's.

"Come back to work tomorrow and be excited for the opportunity to play Game 7."

Video: Montgomery on Bishop's status, Stars' loss in Game 6

 

2. NHL official addresses controversial goal

NHL series supervisor Kay Whitmore addressed the St. Louis' third goal of the game when Parayko hit Bishop up high with a shot, leaving Bishop down in the crease writhing in pain.

With Bishop down, Schwartz scored into an open net to push the lead to 3-1 at 7:37 of the third period.

Whitmore on why the play wasn't blown dead: "That's what the rule says, 8.1. It means they don't kill the play until they (the Stars) get possession of the puck."

Whitmore on if it was not ruled a serious injury: "That's their judgment. They may blow it if it's serious, but they didn't feel getting hit by a puck was serious. I haven't talked to them yet about it, but that's my interpretation of how they would have looked at that rule."

After talking to the on-ice officials, Whitmore said this on the injury: "The puck hit him in the shoulder, and they didn't deem it serious."

Asked if discretion is allowed if the goaltender is down, in danger and can't protect himself, Whitmore said: "Not in this situation. The scoring chance is imminent, and it happened bang-bang, and the puck's in the net. It wasn't a long duration of time. But the rule is pretty clear that in that situation, they're not going to kill it.

"As soon as his team would have got possession, they would have killed it immediately. That happens all the time. But in this situation, they didn't deem it serious enough to kill it immediately, and they didn't get possession before the puck went in the net. It's pretty clear on how that rule works."

Video: STL@DAL, Gm6: Bishop pulled after injury in 3rd

 

3. Not many opportunities for Stars

There weren't many opportunities for the Stars in Sunday's game. They were limited to 23 shots on goal and 43 shot attempts; both were their lowest totals in the series. They had 11 shots from the slot, according to thepointhockey.com, also their lowest total in the series. The Stars had three rush chances in the game, according to the pointhockey.com, and that tied their lowest number in the series.

"Didn't play on our toes to start the game, thought our second period was good, had some really good looks but we didn't go tape to tape," said Montgomery. "Third period wasn't good enough. Instead of playing together, I thought we played individualistic, and I thought they capitalized on it.

"We weren't pushing, we weren't skating in the third period. We weren't doing anything to establish possession time. Give St. Louis credit. They did a really good job checking us."

After the Stars got off to a slow start in the first period, getting outshot 8-0 in the first 6:30 of the game, Montgomery juggled his forward lines, reuniting the top line of Benn, Seguin and Alexander Radulov, and having Roope Hintz center Jason Dickinson and Zuccarello.

Video: Zuccarello says Stars must 'get back to work'

 

4. Blues start fast, finish strong

The Blues improved to 5-1 on the road in the playoffs, and Sunday's road win was a big one.

The Blues got goals from four different players and points from ten in the 4-1 win. The Blues got off to a strong start in the game, scored in the first minute, and got a tie-breaking goal late in the second and then put the game away in the third.  

"I liked our first period all around," said Blues coach Craig Berube. "I thought we got to our game right away on the forecheck and we did a good job through the neutral zone of getting the puck in deep and getting on our forecheck and banging and getting into it. Got a lot of quick line changes and shifts were short. A lot of good stuff."

The Blues made one lineup change, bringing in forward Sammy Blais and putting him on a new-look top line with Ryan O'Reilly and David Perron. Blais chipped in with one goal and nine hits in his NHL playoff debut.

Video: Josh and Razor share final thoughts from Game 6

 

5. Fedun returns to Stars' lineup

Taylor Fedun returned to the lineup for the Stars after missing the last two games - one as a healthy scratch and one due to injury. Fedun played 14:07 and recorded four hits. With Fedun back in, Dillon Heatherington came out of the lineup.

Other notables: the Blues outshot the Stars 25-23 and had a 46-43 advantage in shot attempts. ... High-danger chances were 9-8, Dallas. ... Benn led the Stars with four shots on goal. Miro Heiskanen was tops with 10 shot attempts. ... The Stars were 1-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. ... Dallas won 34 of 55 faceoffs (62 percent). Hintz won 9 of 12 faceoffs (75 percent). Seguin won 9 of 15 (60 percent). ... Heiskanen led the Stars with 24:08 of ice time.

Here's 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
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, Dillon Heatherington, Valeri Nichushkin, Brett Ritchie, Julius Honka, Landon Bow, Gavin Bayreuther, Denis Gurianov, Joel L'Esperance, Nick Caamano, Adam Mascherin

Injured: Joel Hanley (upper body), Jamie Oleksiak (lower body)

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

Video: Second Round, Gm6: Blues @ Stars

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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