St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars
When and Where: Wednesday, May 1, American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas, 9:30 p.m. EDT.
St. Louis leads series 2-1.
With an opportunity to take a commanding series lead back with them to St. Louis, the Blues look to stay perfect on the road this postseason as they face the Dallas Stars in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series Wednesday night.
Blues fight off repeated challenges to reclaim home ice
Three different times in Game 3 the Blues grabbed a one-goal lead, only to have the Stars peg them back. Patrick Maroon ended a sequence of four goals in a 5:16 span with a go-ahead tally with 1:38 to play. St. Louis improved to 4-0 on the road in the playoffs with its 4-3 victory and moved another step closer to its first conference finals appearance since 2016.
Go inside the locker room to see how the boys celebrated Pat Maroon's late game-winning goal in Game 3. https://t.co/Y2JfZGTKax
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) April 30, 2019
“Just keep playing,” Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo told The Athletic after the Blues improved to 6-1 in one-goal games in the playoffs. “Sometimes it might take 60, sometimes it might take more. We’re just going to keep playing, whatever it takes. We’re resilient. This group has a lot of character. Everyone’s in the game and you don’t know who the hero is going to be.”
Rookie Jordan Binnington made 28 saves as he tied Frederik Andersen of the Toronto Maple Leafs as the fastest to 30 overall wins, including the playoffs, in a career, doing so in 39 starts.
On the offensive side, Jaden Schwartz continues to be a consistent source of goals as he netted his team-leading and NHL postseason co-leading sixth goal to open the scoring, and all of them have come in the last five games.
Maroon’s go-ahead goal came after he got separation from Esa Lindell by shoving the Stars defenseman to the ice. No call came — perhaps because Lindell had already been penalized for embellishment — but the forward had plenty of time to gather the puck and beat Ben Bishop high for the winner.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) April 30, 2019
“I think he just fell over me … we were just battling and he tried to get the edge on me and he fell on me,” Maroon said about his game-winner. “I just had more time and more time to use my hands. Usually, I’m muffing that into the pads, but I got it up quick.
“I’ve been working on that in practice, just taking it from the back of the net and trying to lift it instead of just putting it into the pads. I got one through tonight.”
While Schwarz has shouldered more of the offensive scoring load, the Blues are looking for a way to get Vladimir Tarasenko going. He failed to register a point for the second straight game and his two-goal performance in Game 1 are his only points in the last five.
Stars look inward in bid to even series
Despite showing plenty of grit in erasing three one-goal deficits, the Stars’ struggles came about mainly through self-inflected wounds, and their players seem to know it.
"Both games that we've lost, we've played good hockey, but we haven't played desperate hockey."
Heading into Game 4, Monty wants to see the Stars play a more desperate game than the Blues. pic.twitter.com/PtEZnsh6iT
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) April 30, 2019
“I thought they were the more desperate team,” said Ben Lovejoy to The Athletic, adding the Blues were also the smarter team. “The last 48 hours I’m sure they’ve heard how big and how fast we are, and maybe we’ve heard it too. And we weren’t good enough. I thought they outworked us, they got to tougher areas than we did and they were more disciplined in their play.”
“I think both teams really tried to make a difference out there today,” said Stars defenseman John Klingberg to the club’s official website, offering a glass half-full sentiment. “It was a wild third period, but if we look at ourselves here, we showed some character coming back in the game two or three times. You just have to stay even keel. There are going to be ups and downs through this whole series, and they are a good team.”
Alexander Radulov, Andrew Cogliano, and Tyler Seguin had the goals for the Stars, with Radulov scoring his team-high fifth. Cogliano’s goal was a short-handed marker, and Dallas’ penalty kill again was airtight, improving to 23 for 24 in the postseason.
Bishop finished with 30 saves as he allowed more than three goals for the first time this postseason. The Vezina Trophy finalist is still sporting a .931 save percentage and 2.26 goals-against average in the playoffs.
This is the second straight series the Stars are facing a 2-1 series deficit while playing Game 4 at home. In the previous round, they responded with a 5-1 rout of the Nashville Predators, which sparked them to a series win in six games.
“Guys that have been in this situation, you know the ups and downs,” Lovejoy told the Dallas Morning News. “You win a game, and you feel like you can plan your Stanley Cup party. You lose a game, and you feel like the season’s ending. What we did in the first round is came out and played probably our best game of the playoffs in Game 4. We need that effort again.”
The Blues are:
- 3-7 in their last 10 Wednesday games.
- 1-4 in their last five road games vs. the Stars.
The Stars are:
- 4-1 in their last five home games vs. the Blues.
- 7-3 in their last 10 home games vs. teams with an above-.500 road record.