Stars Hold Ground Against Blues & Win 2-1 to Take Series Lead

Timely goal saving, excellent penalty killing, and Bish doing Bish things.

After a huge Game 4 at home in Dallas, the Stars journeyed to St. Louis for Game 5 of the second round. Hoping to use the momentum gained after tying up the series, the Dallas Stars took an amended roster to St. Louis, with AHL Black Ace Dillon Heatherington making his NHL postseason debut. And with the Blues’ frustrations growing, the Stars capitalized and held their ground.

The rookies were all the rage in Friday night’s game, with Roope Hintz, Jason Dickinson, and Miro Heiskanen helping lead the way along with Esa Lindell, Jason Spezza, and Ben Bishop standing tall.

First Period

Obvious frustrations from Game 4 rolled over into Game 5 and the Blues came out swinging. Brayden Schenn leveled John Klingberg with a huge hit on the first shift and it set the pace of the frame.

The Stars weren’t ones to back down and met St. Louis’ physical play with their own and channeled it to get on the board. Mattias Janmark on yet another breakaway had a huge chance on rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington, with Janmark picking up his own rebound. Janmark deflected it back to Tyler Seguin behind the net, who clocked Jason Spezza making his way to the front of the Blues net. Seguin passed to Spezza, who then one-timed the puck past Binnington to give Dallas a 1-0 early on.

Not long after, Brayden Schenn got called for hooking against Andrew Cogliano, sending the Stars to the their only powerplay of the game. Even though both units put on the pressure, Dallas just couldn’t get anything going against St. Louis’ penalty kill.

The second half of the period saw both teams trading possession and pressure back and forth, with frustrations rising. Schenn had another huge chance on Ben Bishop and the rest of the Blues on the ice crashed the net, resulting in some post-whistle tussles between both sides. St. Louis used that physical momentum to boost a late-period push but Dallas held on and met them hit for hit.

The level of intensity then sent the Blues to their first powerplay of the game, with Roman Polak sitting for holding against Alex Peitrangelo with 35 seconds left in the frame.

Shots: Dallas 11, St. Louis 13

Score: Dallas 1, St. Louis 0

Second Period

St. Louis started the second period with 1:25 left on the powerplayfrom the end of the first. Dallas kept up their penalty-killing ways and left the end of the the Blues’ man advantage uneventful.

The Stars then used their momentum from the successful penalty kill to create some dangerous shots of their own, with Dickinson and Janmark generating chances and Seguin creating two on his own.

Dallas’ momentum held and it paid off. Klingberg and Alexander Radulov made a clean zone entry with Esa Lindell trailing with them. Radulov dropped a pass behind for Lindell, who used his backhand to fire it past Binnington, making it 2-0 just over halfway into the frame.

The Blues and the Stars traded pressure once more until 9:27 left in the period when St. Louis thought they scored. The horn went off and the fans and some of the Blues players celebrated, but the shot went off the post, no goal, and Dallas’ lead was safe.

Not long after, St. Louis ended up on their second powerplay of the game with Alex Pietrangelo drawing another penalty, this time with Blake Comeau sitting for hooking. Rookie Roope Hintz came through with some diving saves on the penalty kill to help out Bishop and the Stars smothered the Blues’ attempts on the man advantage.

Mattias Janmark then went down the tunnel after struggling off ice to the bench at the end of the penalty kill but eventually returned six minutes later. Dickinson kept up his impressive two-way game and made a few diving saves of his own to keep Dallas’ lead intact.

Cogliano got caught in a bad spot, resulting in putting the Blues on the powerplay once again with 2:46 left in the period. Another few shorthanded chances and a successful penalty kill later, the Stars used their gained momentum to send a flurry of chances Binnington’s way until the horn sounded to end the frame.

Shots: Dallas 22, St. Louis 24

Score: Dallas 2, St. Louis 0

Third Period

The third frame started slow for St. Louis with Dallas keeping their gained momentum from the end of the second. The Blues’ dissatisfaction continued to grow and the Stars took advantage, keeping St. Louis from getting on the board.

Vezina nominee Ben Bishop, known for his puck-handling skills, misplayed an outlet pass from John Klingberg and the Blues turned the tides. Jaden Schwartz nabbed the puck from Bishop out front and fired it up and over shortside, his seventh goal of the postseason, to cut Dallas’ lead to 2-1 at 8:26 in the period.

Shortly after, St. Louis drew a penalty, with Jamie Benn sitting for hooking against Schenn. The Stars sent out their highly successful penalty kill units and effectively shut down the Blues’ man advantage, keeping their lead in tact.

Reminiscent of Game 4, St. Louis brought the pressure hard in the last half of the third period. An avalanche of chances occurred, including a dangerous Oskar Sundqvist shot that resulted in Bishop making a diving save, but nothing made it past the Dallas goaltender.

The Blues went empty net with one minute left but couldn’t get anything going before the horn sounded, with the Stars winning it 2-1.

Final Shots: Dallas 27, St. Louis 39

Final Score: Dallas 2, St. Louis 1

The Dallas stars now lead the series 3-2 and will face the St. Louis Blues at home for Game 6 on Sunday, May 5. Puck drop is 2 PM CDT.

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