National Hockey League

Blues, Stars tied at 1-1 as series shifts to Dallas

STARS (1-1) AT BLUES (1-1)

8 p.m. ET; NBCSN

The St. Louis Blues will try to regain home-ice advantage when they visit the Dallas Stars for Game 3 of their Western Conference second-round series on Monday night.

The Stars won Game 2 in St. Louis 4-2 on Saturday to even the best-of-seven series at 1-1.

“It’s going to be tight,” Blues coach Craig Berube said the loss. “Both teams play good defensive hockey, both goalies are playing well.”

Ben Bishop of the Stars and Jordan Binnington of the Blues were the only two NHL goalies to allow an average of fewer than two goals per game during the regular season.

Binnington, who didn’t become the No. 1 goalie in St. Louis until early January, led the league with a 1.89 goals-against average, while Bishop was second at 1.98.

Bishop had the top save percentage in the NHL during the regular season at .934 and Binnington was tied for fourth at .927.

Binnington outplayed Bishop in a 3-2 win in Game 1 on Thursday, but Bishop came back with 32 saves in Game 2, a strong bounce-back performance after he stopped only 17 of 20 shots in the opener.

“Every game is a new game,” said Bishop, who is 26-16 in his postseason career with a 2.08 GAA and .929 save percentage. “That’s the way that I’ve done it in my career in the playoffs. I try not to get caught up in the past.”

As strong as Binnington was during the regular season, he wasn’t particularly sharp in his three regular-season starts against Dallas, posting an .879 save percentage and 2.76 GAA.

“They’re a highly offensive team and they’ve got some skill, so they can capitalize on their chances,” Binnington said.

Dallas forward Jamie Benn has a goal and an assist so far in the series. He scored five goals in four regular-season games against St. Louis this season as well.

This is Benn’s fifth playoff series in 10 seasons with this Stars and he’s never made it out of the second round.

Dallas rookie Roope Hintz scored two goals in Game 2 to give him four in these playoffs, tying the franchise record for the most goals by a rookie in a single postseason. Niko Kapanen scored four goals for Dallas during the 2003 playoffs.

Blues defenseman Colton Parayko said the Stars’ combination of size and speed has been difficult to counter.

“They do a good job of getting up ice,” Parayko said. “I think just advancing it past them and making sure that we get in the zone cleanly, but obviously that’s easier said than done. We’ll take a look at the video and kind of go from there.”

Berube said the Blues needs to be better in a number of areas if they hope to take a 2-1 series lead.

“We’ve got to do a better job of little things, like in the breakout, better execution, and face-offs,” Berube said. “That will help for sure.”

Stars coach Jim Montgomery knows there’s still a long series ahead with more ups and downs to come.

“The thing that our group has shown is that we’re resilient,” Montgomery said. “We always come back with a better effort.”

–Field Level Media

Leave a Reply