I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.
Antti Niemi hasn’t officially replaced Kari Lehtonen in the Dallas Stars’ net heading into the second period of Game 7, but that’s probably a mere formality.
(Update: no surprise, Niemi replaced Lehtonen.)
Robby Fabbri‘s 1-0 goal was the least ugly in a brutal of the three goals that Lehtonen allowed in a wheels-falling-off opening frame in which the St. Louis Blues went up 3-0.
The Stars actually got bailed out when what seemed like a Vladimir Tarasenko goal – and an awful one in that – was killed off by an offside goal review. Paul Stastny then made it 2-0 with a goal that wasn’t a whole lot better.
Patrik Berglund then scored from way downtown to leave the Stars stunned going into the locker room, with observers wondering if Stars coach Lindy Ruff was merely hoping to get to the intermission down 2-0.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that the Pittsburgh Penguins went up 3-0 against the Washington Capitals last night, and while Pittsburgh won, the Caps pushed the game to OT.
There’s always the chance that the Stars could push back.
There’s also no denying that Lehtonen shoulders a ton of the blame in the Stars putting themselves in a huge hole.
So far, things haven’t been much easier for Niemi:
The St. Louis Blues managed a 1-0 lead in Game 7 against the Dallas Stars thanks to a nice goal by young scorer Robby Fabbri.
You can watch video of that nice little shot above.
The Stars have enjoyed a handful of lose chances themselves, carrying a good chunk of the play otherwise. Brian Elliott‘s been sharp and a few pucks have hit posts/missed the net, however, so the Blues remain up 1-0 … for now.
Will see how important that Fabbri tally ends up being in the first Game 7 of this second round.
Here it is, folks. The first of two Game 7 matchups in the second round kick off with this Central Division clash on Wednesday.
St. Louis at Dallas (8:00 p.m. ET)
The television broadcast will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.
In the meantime, here’s some relevant reading material:
‘I want to sleep on what I’m going to do,’ says Hitchcock of Blues goalie situation for Game 7
Then Hitchcock decided to go with Brian Elliott
Home-ice hasn’t been a big deal in this series
Seguin ‘day-to-day,’ won’t play Game 7
Blues sign promising Finnish goalie Ville Husso
Matt Nieto wasn’t able to practice with the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, opening the door for Tommy Wingels to possibly return to the lineup.
Wingels wouldn’t exactly get a chance to ease back in, as the Sharks face the Nashville Predators in a Game 7 on Thursday.
The veteran forward seems aware of what he’d need to bring to the table if Nieto can’t go, as he told CSNBayArea.com’s Kevin Kurz.
“If I’m back in tomorrow, use my speed, create some scoring chances, be physical, get in on the forecheck – all the little things that hopefully make the team successful and win the game,” Wingels said.
Wingels would likely line up with Dainius Zubrus and Nick Spaling if he plays.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
What a difference a few games make. Now people are talking about Phil Kessel being a popular Conn Smythe winner. (Sportsnet)
Sounds like the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will face off in a pre-season game in Quebec City. Cool. (CSNNE.com)
How will Guy Boucher be received by the Senators? (TSN)
Will Dylan Larkin become the Red Wings’ next go-to guy? (NHL Numbers)
Looking at how overtime affects scoring chances. (Sportsnet)
This shot seems like it deserves another look, doesn’t it?