The Playoff Buzzer: Bishop’s herculean effort not enough for Stars

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  • The hometown player scores in double overtime to send the St. Louis Blues to the Western Conference Final.
  • The two goalies put on a show, including an all-time great effort in a Game 7 for Ben Bishop.
  • Robert Thomas makes some history for the Blues.

St. Louis Blues 2, Dallas Stars 1 (2OT) (Blues win series 4-3)

Entering play on Tuesday night, Dallas Stars goalie Ben Bishop had played two Game 7s in his career and was a perfect 2-0, having allowed zero goals. For as good as he was in those first two games, he may have been even better on Tuesday night, turning aside 52 of the 54 shots he faced. In a season in which he finished as a Vezina Trophy finalist for third time in his career and was one of the best goalies in the league, this may have been his best single game effort of the year. Unfortunately for him and the Stars, that effort was not enough as the Stars fell by a 2-1 margin in double overtime. Patrick Maroon‘s goal at the 5:50 mark of the second overtime period was the difference in the game and sends the Blues back to the Western Conference Final for the second time in four years and the first time since the 2015-16 season. They will play the winner of Wednesday’s Colorado Avalanche-San Jose Sharks Game 7  (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Three Stars

1. Patrick Maroon, St. Louis Blues. What a night for Maroon. Not only did he score a series clinching, double overtime goal in a Game 7 to send his team to the Western Conference Final, he did it for his hometown team. Maroon signed with the Blues over the summer on a one-year deal and was one of the many forwards acquired by the team in an effort to improve what was one of the league’s worst offensive teams a season ago. He did not have a huge year, finishing with just 10 goals and 18 assists in 74 games, but he was in the right place at the right time on Tuesday night to score what is so far the Blues’ most important goal of the season.

2. Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars. Let’s be honest, he was probably the best player on the ice and did everything he possibly could. His team did not get the result, but that does not take away from the incredible game he played. He is the only reason this game went on as long as it did. Without him, it never even gets to overtime.

3. Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues. He did not have to make as many saves as Bishop, and there were extended stretches where he literally did not have to make any saves, but he still had to make some big stops throughout the night. That was especially true in overtime where he made a couple of game-saving stops to keep the game going when the Stars finally started to spend a little time in the Blues’ zone. After a shaky start to the series Binnington responded by stopping 51 of the 53 shots he faced in Games 6 and 7 to help the Blues come from behind in the series.

Highlights of the Night

Patrick Maroon scores what is, to this point, the biggest goal of his NHL career to send his team to the Western Conference Final.

For most of the night the Stars struggled to generate offense and create chances, and on the rare occasion they did, Binnington shut them down. Their only goal of the night came on a totally wacky play in the first period.

This Binnington save on Jamie Benn happened just moments before the Blues scored the winning goal.

 

Factoids

  • Robert Thomas had a great game for the Blues and was rewarded with a pair of assists, making him just the third teenager (he is still 19) to record two points in a Game 7 in NHL history. [NHL PR]
  • Bishop is the fifth goalie since the 1955-56 season to record at least 50 saves in a Game 7. [NHL PR]
  • This is the first time in Stanley Cup Playoff history that three different Game 7s required overtime in the same playoff year. [NHL PR]
  • The Dallas Stars will keep their 2019 first-round pick. Had they advanced, the conditional 2019 draft pick they sent to the New York Rangers as part of the Mats Zuccarello trade would have become a first-round pick. As it stands now, the Stars will send their second-round pick to the Rangers. If the Stars re-sign Zuccarello this summer in free agency they will have to send their 2020 first-round pick to the Rangers.
  • Binnington is the second goalie Blues history to win Game 7 as a rookie.

Wednesday’s Schedule

Game 7: Colorado Avalanche at San Jose Sharks, Game 7, 9 p.m. ET, NBCSN (Series tied 3-3) (Live Stream)

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Olympic hockey on NBC: 2018 women’s gold medal game

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Hockey Week in America continues Sunday with the unforgettable Olympic women’s gold medal game in 2018.

NBC will present the women’s gold medal game at the 2018 Olympics between Team USA and Canada, won by the Americans in a 3-2 shootout in PyeongChang. With the victory, the women’s ice hockey team claimed its second ever Olympic gold medal and ended the Canadians streak of four straight gold medals.

Kenny Albert, AJ Mleczko and Pierre McGuire called the gold medal game in PyeongChang.

You can catch a replay of the 2018 women’s Olympics gold medal game Sunday on NBC at 1 p.m. ET or watch the stream here.

SUNDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE
• Maple Leafs vs. Bruins (Game 7, Round 1, 2013 playoffs) – 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN
• Golden Knights vs. Sharks (Game 7, Round 1, 2019 playoffs) – 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN
• Kings vs. Blackhawks (Game 7, Western Conference Final, 2014 playoffs) – 12 a.m. ET on NBCSN

More information about NBC Sports’ Hockey Week in America can be found here.

Capitals vs. Penguins on NBCSN: Kuznetsov’s overtime series clincher

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Hockey Week in America continues Saturday with memorable playoff performances in the Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin rivalry.

In 2018, the Capitals and Penguins met in Round 2 for the third straight postseason. Pittsburgh won the previous two series en route to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles. But this time Washington would have its revenge. Evgeny Kuznetsov would score in overtime of Game 6 to help the Capitals advance as they went on to win their first championship in franchise history.

You can catch Game 6 of the 2018 Penguins vs. Capitals playoff game Saturday night on NBCSN beginning at 12:30 a.m. ET or watch the stream here.

SATURDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE
• Capitals vs. Penguins (Game 6, Round 2, 2018 playoffs) – 12:30 a.m. on NBCSN

More information about NBC Sports’ Hockey Week in America can be found here.

Capitals vs. Penguins on NBCSN: Bonino Bonino Bonino!

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Hockey Week in America continues Saturday with memorable playoff performances in the Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin rivalry.

The Capitals needed a win to force Game 7 in Round 2 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Facing the Penguins yet again, the clawed back from a 3-1 third period deficit to force overtime. It was there, however, that Pittsburgh once again topped their Metro Division rivals. This time it was Nick Bonino breaking their hearts to put the Penguins on a path to the franchise’s fourth Stanley Cup title.

You can catch Game 6 of the 2016 Penguins vs. Capitals playoff game Saturday on NBCSN beginning at 10 p.m. ET or watch the stream here.

SATURDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE
• Capitals vs. Penguins (Game 6, Round 2, 2016 playoffs) – 10 p.m. on NBCSN
• Capitals vs. Penguins (Game 6, Round 2, 2018 playoffs) – 12:30 a.m. on NBCSN

More information about NBC Sports’ Hockey Week in America can be found here.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Crosby vs. Ovechkin on NBCSN: The dueling hat trick game

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Hockey Week in America continues Saturday with memorable playoff performances in the Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin rivalry.

After edging the Penguins in Game 1 of their Round 2 series in 2009, the Capitals were eager to take a 2-0 series lead. Little did we all know it would be the Crosby and Ovechkin show as the two superstars exchanged hat tricks. Ovechkin’s Capitals came out on top after he scored his second and third goals of the game in a span of 3:29 late in the third period for a 4-3 victory.

You can catch the dueling hat trick game Saturday on NBCSN beginning at 8 p.m. ET or watch the stream here.

SATURDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE
Penguins vs. Capitals (Game 2, Round 2, 2009 playoffs) – 8 p.m. on NBCSN
• Capitals vs. Penguins (Game 6, Round 2, 2016 playoffs) – 10 p.m. on NBCSN
• Capitals vs. Penguins (Game 6, Round 2, 2018 playoffs) – 12:30 a.m. on NBCSN

More information about NBC Sports’ Hockey Week in America can be found here.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.