The Wraparound: Stars elevating their game at perfect time

The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down each day’s matchups with the all-important television and live streaming information included.

The Dallas Stars’ season was on the line heading into Game 4 against the St. Louis Blues. At that time, they were down 2-1 in the best-of-seven series and another loss on home ice would’ve put them in an extremely difficult spot. Instead of cracking under the pressure, the Stars came out with an incredible effort.

When a coach makes a mistake, he gets all the blame. But when he makes the right call, you have to tip your cap to him. Jim Montgomery decided to swap his top two centers in Game 4, as Roope Hintz played with Alexander Radulov and Jamie Benn, while Tyler Seguin moved to a line with Mats Zuccarello and Jason Dickinson.

“It’s one of those things where when it happens it looks great, but if nothing happens (in Game 4), then nobody even says anything about it,” Dickinson said after the win. “I think what it comes down to is personally guys elevating their game. If it took shaking up the lines to get guys to do that, then that’s a great move by the coach.”

Dickinson and Hintz both scored, and Seguin, Radulov and Zuccarello each had two assists in Dallas’ 4-2 victory.

Now, this series turns into a best-of-three with two of the games potentially coming in St. Louis. Can the Blues bounce back tonight? (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN)

“They were possessing pucks down low against us, which gave us issues and kind of wore us down where we didn’t find our game in our offensive structure until later on,” Ryan O’Reilly said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “And it was too late.

“That happens. (There are) adjustments we’ve got to make. We’re disappointed in ourselves. That wasn’t the game we wanted. But it’s a best-out-of-3 now and we’re confident we’ll turn it around.”

Jordan Binnington also has to find a way to keep his emotions in check. The Blues netminder lost his cool after Benn poked him in the pads. Binnington went after Benn, then slashed Stars goalie Ben Bishop on his way off the ice. Sure, the Blues were already down 4-1 at that point, but he has to keep his head on straight if his team is going to move on to the Western Conference Final.
TODAY’S SCHEDULE: 
Game 4: New York Islanders at Carolina Hurricanes (Hurricanes lead 3-0): Can the Hurricanes do the unthinkable? They’ll have an opportunity to sweep the Islanders in Raleigh tonight. Even the most optimistic fan in Carolina couldn’t have imagined that this is the way the series was going to play out. The ‘Canes have overcome a lot of injuries, including one to starting netminder Petr Mrazek. The Isles have only scored three goals in the first three games of this series. That will have to change if they’re going to send it back to Brooklyn. (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN; live stream)
THURSDAY’S SCORES
Bruins 4, Blue Jackets 2
Avalanche 3, Sharks 0

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

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