The Dallas Stars met the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Arena once again for Game 2 of the second round. While Game 1 was all about each team feeling one another out to see how this series will go, Game 2 was all Dallas. The Stars needed to find an answer to Jordan Binnington, the Calder-nominated goaltender, and found it this afternoon. Scoring three goals in a 1:12 span, Dallas charged past St. Louis to tie up the series 1-1 heading back to Texas.
The Blues came out swinging in the first period, getting a few quick shots on goal in an obvious change of tactic to shoot more after Game 1. The early minutes of the frame were spent in a back-and-forth of puck possession and smart neutral zone plays from both sides, but the Stars held on.
Just over seven minutes in, Dallas capitalized on their speed, with Mats Zuccarello leading the way. In an echo of the John Klingberg goal from Game 1, Zuccarello, off to the side, held onto the puck until Roope Hintz was in position in front of the net. Zuccarello beat his coverage and Hintz ripped it in to put the Stars in the lead 1-0.
There was more back-and-forth even play after the Hintz goal and Bishop looked seriously on top of all of the shots going his way. Jason Spezza and Mattias Janmark combined for some dangerous looks on net but nothing went in.
Jamie Benn then made his presence known by succeeding in getting under Vladimir Tarasenko’s skin, which resulted in Colton Parayko stepping in to defend his teammate. The kerfuffle ended with both Benn and Tarasenko sitting in the penalty boxes with matching roughing minors, leaving both teams to kill off a 4-on-4.
The Stars have been known to thrive in 4-on-4 and 3-on-3, and this time was no different. Zuccarello made a backhand stretch pass for Hintz, who led the charge with Miro Heiskanen deep into the St. Louis zone. Hintz then set Heiskanen up out front and the rookie defenseman buried it past Binnington to put the Stars up 2-0 with just over seven minutes left in the first period.
St. Louis took that as a challenge and fired in a goal of their own shortly after. Parayko with a bomb of a shot from the point made it through heavy traffic in front of Bishop and cut Dallas’ lead to 2-1.
It only took 26 seconds for the Stars to quickly put themselves ahead by two once again. Janmark made the poke check and passed to Jason Dickinson, who held onto it. Dickinson made the initial shot and Janmark waited just off to the side of the net for the resulting rebound that he slotted right under Binnington’s pad to make it 3-1.
The Blues then went to the first power play of the game, as Taylor Fedun was penalized for interference against Oskar Sundqvist. While Dallas stayed alert, Radek Faksa put his stick in the wrong place and tripped Vince Dunn, which put the Blues on a 5-on-3. After the penalty expired, more extracurricular activities took place as the horn sounded to end the period.
Shots: Dallas 10, St. Louis 10
Score: Dallas 3, St. Louis 1
Some after-the-whistle activities put both Patrick Maroon and Janmark in the box, giving the Blues a 5-on-4 advantage for 41 seconds to start the second period. St. Louis couldn’t get anything going and both teams went back to even strength once the time expired.
After their power play, St. Louis started the period strong once again, leading the shots on goal and puck possession pressure. Dallas stayed strong by continuously winning the net-front battle to keep the Blues from getting in too deep.
The first half of the frame was an uneventful tug-of-war until the Stars went on their first power play of the game, with David Perron sitting for holding against Radek Faksa. Though they couldn’t get anything past Binnington, Dallas put on some heavy shots and showed their strength on the man-advantage.
Almost immediately after that, St. Louis went back on yet another power play, thanks to Blake Comeau high-sticking Jaden Schwartz. The Stars kept up their penalty killing clinic and prevented the Blues from capitalizing.
Sundqvist went after Bishop and Esa Lindell, and Klingberg took offense to his actions. Klingberg knocked down Sundqvist, which resulted in an interference call and another penalty kill for the Stars. After some dangerous chances for St. Louis, Dallas successfully killed off the penalty to end the period.
Shots: Dallas 17, St. Louis 24
Score: Dallas 3, St. Louis 1
Just under two minutes into the third, Schwartz tipped in a heavy shot past Bishop from Parayko. The goal was heavily reviewed by the referees with the Stars eventually challenging for goaltender interference. However, the goal was upheld, cutting Dallas’ lead to 3-2 at 1:48 in the frame.
For most of the first half, the Stars seemed flat and let the surging Blues control the play. Then a huge shift from Dallas’ “Big Three” of Benn, Seguin, and Radulov turned it around once again in the team’s favor. From this, Benn had several chances and Seguin had some of his own off of the rebounds.
Dallas then went on yet another power play, due to Perron committing goaltender interference on Bishop. The Stars seemed energized on the power play, recording eight huge chances, but couldn't get anything past Binnington.
The second half of the period consisted of the Stars and the Blues trading chances and possession until St. Louis ended up on the power play once again. Hintz tried to clear the puck out of the zone, but accidentally sent it over the glass and out of play, resulting in a delay of game penalty. Shortly into the power play, St. Louis pulled their goalie for a 6-on-4 advantage, but the penalty expired with the Blues kept off of the board.
With three seconds left, Hintz made a fantastic diving save and shoved the puck down the ice, getting the empty net insurance goal that the Stars needed, ending the game 4-2.
Final Shots: Dallas 35, St. Louis 34
Final Score: Dallas 4, St. Louis 2
The series, now tied 1-1, will shift back to Dallas with Game 3 starting at 7 p.m. CDT on Monday, April 29.
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