The game started out very encouraging for the Stars, but soon there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth. It was only one game, but the Stars will have a high mental hurdle to clear to be ready for Game 4.
The first period started fast. Colton Sceviour broke the tie early by ramming home his own rebound. Less than a minute later, the Blues had answered. The game was wide open, and the Blues appeared to have found their secret weapon in the neutral zone.
St. Louis chewed up Dallas in neutral ice, cutting through Dallas resistance like a warm knife through butter. This would be a theme throughout the night.
Special teams continued to flog the Stars. A Dallas power play looked like the team took two minutes to rest. As soon as the Blues predictably killed the Stars power play they got one of their own. David Backes made no mistake.
Everyone, including the officials, thought Jason Demers had equalized late in the first. As it turns out the shot hit the crossbar and was repelled. After a review the goal was waved off. The period ended 2-1 St. Louis. From the Dallas perspective, the period was marred with turnovers and sloppy gaps. It was a movie Stars' fans had seen before and would forced to watch for 40 more minutes.
The second started much the same way the first ended. A poor pinch by Demers left Russell on an island against Brouwer. Russell got undressed, and it was simple. Kari Lehtonen replaced Antti Niemi, but Tarasenko stretched the lead to 4-1 within seconds. It was a pretty goal.
The Blues would make it 5-1 on the power play late in the frame. Dallas was unable to cash in on their own chance with the man advantage before the Blues, and special teams continued to torture the Stars.
Fans hoping to see some meaningful push back from Dallas in the third period were disappointed. The power play struggles continued. The Blues scored again. That's about all there is to say about that.
It was a tough night for everyone wearing white, with the only obvious exception being Colton Sceviour (not just because he scored). On a night where Dallas was looking for anything positive, Kari Lehtonen was strong after he gave up a soft goal to make the score 5-1 in the second. Lehtonen continued to face rubber in the third and did admirably to prevent the night from being an even larger embarrassment. The final score of 6-1 was plenty.
The game felt like a trip to the woodshed and it definitely was. The Blues were better in every aspect of the game that matters. The Stars forgot they had a game tonight and St. Louis looked hungry. After a scrum late in the period, Ryan Reeves blew a kiss to the Stars bench on his way off the ice. It was a perfect expression for the way the game played out. Maybe the Stars will watch that GIF for 48 hours and be ready for Thursday.
All of that being said, it was one hockey game. The Blues took a 2-1 series lead. Thankfully, they could only play the Stars once tonight.
That sound you hear is the Dallas Stars still trying to exit the zone in St. Louis.