The St. Louis Blues threw everything they had at Ben Bishop, and for the longest time it seemed as if the the Dallas Stars’ starting goalie was going to steal Game 7 and the entire Round 2 series.
But at the 5:50 mark of double overtime, St. Louis native Patrick Maroon scored the game-winning goal to lift his team to a 2-1 win and send it to the Western Conference Final where it will meet the winner of Wednesday’s San Jose Sharks-Colorado Avalanche Game 7 (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN)
While it took more than 85 minutes to finally get a winner, and even though the Stars had more than their fair chances in the two overtime periods, this is probably the result this game deserved.
The Blues were clearly the best team all night long and at one point went through a 40-minute stretch where they outshot the Stars by a 31-4 margin. The only reason the game was close was because Bishop was playing the game of his life in the Stars’ net and trying to single-handedly lead his team to a win. Other than actually scoring a goal on his own there wasn’t anything else he could have possibly done.
Goaltending can change everything in a playoff series, especially in a Game 7, and that nearly happened in this one. But the Stars were unable to generate enough consistent offense and couldn’t capitalize on their chances once they started getting them in overtime.
This will be the Blues’ second trip to the Western Conference Final in the past four years. They most recently went during the 2015-16 playoffs where they ended up losing to the San Jose Sharks — a potential opponent this year — in six games.