When you watched the final five periods of this seven game series, you’re left wondering how it even went as long as it did?
The St. Louis Blues dominated the Dallas Stars again and won 6-1 to advance to the Western Conference Finals. They will face the San Jose Sharks or Nashville Predators who play a Game 7 on Thursday night.
The Blues matched the Stars speed in the first few shifts and Brian Elliott made a couple of nice saves and the turning point came pretty early in that opening period when the ice tilted in the Blues’ favor.
Robbi Fabbri became the youngest player in Blues history to score a Game 7 goal when he gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 5:23 on the powerplay. Fabbri jammed in a rebound after Kari Lehtonen stopped Brouwer’s shot with a pad save. There was traffic, but it was the first of quite a few soft goals the Stars would allow.
I could feel the Stars pressing when Valeri Nichushkin missed his opportunity to tie the game at 7:01 on an open net. The lefty pulled his shot from the right side of the goal and hit the side of the net. The Stars had a few good scoring opportunities but couldn’t push anything past Elliott.
Even after the Blues had their 2-0 lead with 2:21 remaining reversed after Vladimir Tarasenko was ruled offside before his goal, they wasted little time getting that goal back on the board. 43 seconds later Paul Stastny scored with 1:38 remaining, and the energy was gone from Dallas and gone in the building. When the Blues made it 3-0 when Patrik Berglund beat Lehtonen from near the blue line with 3.9 seconds left…it was over.
David Backes, Patrik Berglund, Troy Brouwer, Robby Fabbri and Paul Stastny combined for 13 points–five goals and eight assists. Oh, and Tarasenko did get his goal. It came late in the third, his seventh of the playoffs.
I offered my thoughts on the game while I drove into work this morning. Give a listen.