The Stars look to take a 2-1 series lead against the St. Louis Blues as Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs comes to Dallas. The Stars tied up the series Saturday afternoon after a burst of offense from the 4-on-4 and a perfect penalty kill. Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov were left off the score sheet in St. Louis, while Roope Hintz and Mats Zuccarello have looked deadly enough. Meanwhile, it looked like the defense made the necessary adjustments from Game 1 to contain the amount of deadly rushes the Blues showed in the first game.
Through two games, the Stars have had a slight edge in 5-on-5 play. They’re up 20-14 in high danger chances and nearly even in shot attempts. They’ve been getting good looks from the slot which, over a series, will pay dividends. The Blues did a great job of keeping Benn, Seguin and Radulov off the score sheet, as the top line combined for zero 5-on-5 points in Game 2. Coming back home with a 1-1 tied series with the top line being held off is big. Here’s hoping the crowd in Dallas will create the atmosphere to get the big guns rolling once more.
One of the Blue’s top strengths is their power play. Since the trade deadline, they’ve been a top-three team with the man-advantage. However, the Stars’ penalty kill has been a force all season, especially with how well Bishop has been playing. Staying out of the box and letting the top line find their groove might just be enough for the Stars to leave Dallas up 3-1 in the series.
Keep An Eye On:
- Jason Spezza. He’s been finding a bit of a groove lately. He’s the only Stars forward winning the face-off dot (52%), has an impressive expected goal total and performs well on the power play.
- Benn, Seguin and Radulov. They were held to zero points at full strength in the first two games. They’re due to find the net soon.
- Hintz and Heiskanen. I swear the Finnish young rookies might not even know this is the playoffs they’re playing in. They seem not fazed in the least by these playoff road games. Hail to the Finnish Corner in the locker room.
Dallas Stars Lineup
Jamie Oleksiak is still considered day-to-day with his lower body injury. Stars lineup should be the same as last game.
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Jason Dickinson - Roope Hintz - Mats Zuccarello
Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Mattias Janmark - Justin Dowling - Jason Spezza
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen - Roman Polak
Taylor Fedun - Ben Lovejoy
St. Louis Blues Lineup
David Perron - Ryan O’Reilly - Vladimir Tarasenko
Jaden Schwartz - Brayden Schenn - Oskar Sundqvist
Patrick Maroon - Tyler Bozak - Robert Thomas
Robby Fabbri - Ivan Barbashev - Alexander Steen
Carl Gunnarsson - Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeester - Colton Parayko
Joel Edmundson - Vince Dunn