Monday, May 9
TV: NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
With Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Blues in Dallas, the Stars now head to St. Louis down 3-2 in the series and facing a must-win situation in Game 6.
“We knew we were going to face adversity at some point,” said Stars center Jamie Benn. “We’ve obviously hit that, and we’ve got to find a way to go into St. Louis and win ourselves a hockey game.”
“We have one last chance,” said Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen. “We need to go there, get one, and win the other one at home. I’m confident we can do that.”
The Stars won a big Game 4 in St. Louis, prevailing 3-2 in overtime to tie the series 2-2. They’ll need another win in St. Louis to force a Game 7 back in Dallas.
“I’m confident. These guys, they’ve given us everything they’ve had all year, and we’ve had some tough situations, and they’ll pull out of it,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “I think the thing I’m confident about is the way we played [Saturday] gives us a heck of an opportunity to go in and win a game. Just duplicate that and get a little bit of puck luck and things may go our way.”
Forward Patrick Eaves, who has missed the past four games with a leg injury, traveled with the team to St. Louis. It’s not clear if he will play in Game 6 on Monday. Forward Tyler Seguin (lower body) did not travel with the team and is out for Monday.
Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (leg) is questionable. C Tyler Seguin (lower body) is out.
The Blues will get a chance to close out the Stars Monday night and move onto the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2001. The Blues had a hard time closing out Chicago in the first round. They had a 3-1 lead in the series and lost Game 5 and Game 6 before winning the seventh and deciding game.
“I think we feel really good,” said Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson. “We've been in this situation before so we know what we have to do a little bit different than last time. … I think just looking back at what we did, we're not playing our game. We've been seeing that throughout the games with Dallas. It's not working for us, we kind of let them dictate. From the get-go we have to go out and play our game, show them who's going to dictate the game and I think that's going to give us a good chance of winning tomorrow night. Not sitting back in any sense.”
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said when the puck drops it will be another game between two teams that have shown to be evenly matched so far in the series.
“We're going to play as desperate as we can, and they're going to play as desperate as they can,” Hitchcock said. “But when there's such a fine line between these two teams, you can play awful well and not win. The best game we've played from start to finish for us was Game 5 in the Chicago series. It was the best we've played, and we still didn't win. So when you've got this type of competition in front of you, you've just got to play your best.”
Hitchcock wouldn’t talk about any lineup adjustments for Monday’s game, but it sounded as if Dmitrij Jaskin, who scored the game-winner Saturday in his first game of this year’s playoffs, would play again Monday.
*The Blues have outscored the Stars 17-10 in the series, including 10-9 during five-on-five play.
*The Stars have scored 20 goals in ten games (2.0 per game) against the Blues this season including both regular season and playoffs.
*The Stars are 3-2 on the road in the playoffs.
*The Blues are 3-3 at home this postseason.
*Through Sunday, there have been 67 games in the NHL playoffs. The home team has won 34 times, and the road team has won 33 times.
*When trailing in the series and facing elimination, teams are 7-7 in this year’s NHL playoffs.
*Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski’s 4 goals in the playoffs is tied for most among NHL defensemen.
*Blues goaltender Brian Elliott has a 1.92 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in the series.
Game 1 – Apr. 29: Stars 2, Blues 1
Game 2 – May 1: Blues 4, Stars 3 (OT)
Game 3 – May 3: Blues 6, Stars 1
Game 4 – May 5: Stars 3, Blues (OT)
Game 5 – May 7: Blues 4, Stars 1
Game 6 – May 9: Dallas at St. Louis, 7 p.m.
*Game 7 – May 11: St. Louis at Dallas, 7 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.