Just call them the road warriors.
Coming into Sunday’s Game 6, the St. Louis Blues held a 5-1 road record in these Stanley Cup Playoffs. They also came into the game knowing that if they fell to 5-2, they’d crash out of hockey’s hallowed tournament.
Adversity is something the Blues eat for breakfast these days. Ebbs had been so apparent in the first half of the regular season for St. Louis that they’ve been able to lean on those experiences during their Cinderella-esque second half.
If the Blues were nervous one iota at American Airlines Center in Dallas, it was undetectable. And it’s because of that composure that us mere mortals will get to experience another Game 7 in these wild and wacky playoffs after St. Louis’ 4-1 win against the Stars in Game 6.
The Blue Notes managed the pressure like that of a grizzled veteran team, steeped in repeated deep playoff runs.
Right out of the gate, the Blues pushed the pace. Alex Pietrangelo scored 1:03 into the game to provide an early spark and put at ease any jitters that may have crept onto the visitor’s bench at American Airlines Center
Dallas’ power play got things going later in the period as the Stars shook off an uneasy first 10 minutes. Tyler Seguin found his fourth of the post-season to tie the game.
Goaltending at both ends of the rink has defined this series, and it certainly played a part in Game 6.
Jordan Binnington, who’s been an iceman of sorts, was stellar once again, stopping 22-of-23 in the win.
Two-hundred feet away, Ben Bishop‘s stat line won’t look great.
The Vezina finalist (and the main reason why the Stars won Game 5) allowed four goals on 20 shots before being pulled in favor of Anton Khudobin in the third period.
Getting yanked would suggest Bishop had an off night and that wouldn’t be totally fair in this situation. He allowed two goals in 33 seconds, but the first came after Colton Parayko wired a point shot right off Bishop’s collarbone.
Bishop fell to the ice but the play was allowed to carry on because St. Louis maintained possession on the play. A quick-thinking Alex Steen fired the puck toward the goal and Jaden Schwartz got it into the back of the net for a good — but perhaps controversial — goal to make it 3-1.
Bishop remained in the game but still seemed shell-shocked when Sammy Blais was afforded a 2-on-0 rush. Blais unleased a cannon that beat Bishop clean and that was that for Bishop, who was replaced by Khudobin and headed immediately to the dressing room. UPDATE: Bishop is fine.
Dallas has shown its own resiliency in these playoffs so it would be unwise to count them out. They need more from their big three, with Seguin’s goal the only thing they could muster in this one. A better start will help, and they’ll need Bishop back on top of his game.
Game 7 will go on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET from Enterprise Center on NBCSN