The Western Conference semifinals have come down to Game 7, and the Dallas Stars will get to play it at home. The Stars will suit up against the St. Louis Blues one more time, for all the marbles, tonight at 7 p.m. Central time in American Airlines Center.
The team knows what's at stake, and they plan to do what they've been doing all season: play their game, writes Mark Stepneski:
"It's Game 7," said Stars forward Ales Hemsky. "All in."
"We're two good teams. We've battled with them all season long for first place, and nothing has changed. We have to win the next one."
And the privilege of playing the decider on home ice is as important to them as to the fans:
"We've worked hard all year to get to where we finished in the standings. Obviously, home ice is a big part of this," said [Jamie] Benn. "We have a good record at home. We might have lost a couple games in this series at home, but it doesn't matter. We're going to be ready to go, and it's huge to play in front of our fans."
Read more at Mark's place. [Stars Inside Edge]
Mike Heika examines what the Stars must do to get to the Western Conference Finals in his Game 7 scouting report. [SportsDayDFW]
Bruce LeVine and Owen Newkirk have their Game 7 preview right here.
Both the Stars and the Blues expect the unexpected as they prepare to win or go home in Game 7, writes Amalie Benjamin. [NHL]
Last night in elimination:
- The Pittsburgh Penguins took a 3-0 lead, watched it evaporate under three concurrent delay-of-game penalties and the Washington Capitals' power play, then won in overtime, 4-3. The Pens won the series in six games and will play the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals. [Pensburgh]
With the Caps' loss, Scott Bell of The Dallas Morning News points out this fun fact:
Four NHL teams won division titles this year: Washington, Florida, Dallas and Anaheim.— Scott Bell (@ScottBellDMN) May 11, 2016
Dallas is the only one still alive in the playoffs.
Defender Travis Hamonic will remain with the New York Islanders: A family health crisis has abated, and he's officially rescinded a trade request to play closer to his home in Winnipeg. [New York Newsday]
Meanwhile, RW and impending UFA Kyle Okposo says the Isles and his agent have yet to talk about renewing his contract. [The Hockey News]
It's official: Denis Gurianov is no longer bound by his KHL contract and is almost certainly on his way to Cedar Park. See you at training camp, Gury.
#DallasStars prospect Denis Guryanov has officially terminated his KHL contract with Lada Togliatti team.— Russian Prospects (@RUSProspects) May 10, 2016
Guryanov terminates KHL contract, could play for Texas Stars next season https://t.co/bcPNPsGL9G— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) May 10, 2016
Hockey has brought 12-year-old Wyatt Nelson and his blind father, Gerry, closer together. Watch what happened when the two of them got a Day With the Cup.
Finally: I'll just leave this here. Think of it as a reminder to enjoy the good times.
When you force a game 7 after every single media pundit said you didn't have a chance... pic.twitter.com/f7Zqz1FwXX— Bill Simpson (@GunnerStar99) May 10, 2016