Blues knock out Stars with double-OT win in Game 7

ST. LOUIS—Pat Maroon put in a rebound of a shot by Robert Thomas 5:50 into the second overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 win in Game 7 of their second-round series with Dallas and put them in the NHL Western Conference final.

Thomas took a shot that Stars netminder Ben Bishop stopped, but Maroon, in front of the goal, jumped and shot the puck high and in.

Overtime hero Pat Maroon celebrates his series-winning goal with Blues teammate Vladimir Tarasenko in Game 7 on Tuesday night in St. Louis.
Overtime hero Pat Maroon celebrates his series-winning goal with Blues teammate Vladimir Tarasenko in Game 7 on Tuesday night in St. Louis.  (Jeff Roberson / AP)

It was the 54th shot of the game for the Blues, and it was St. Louis-born Maroon beating Bishop, who played high school hockey in the city.

The Blues will face San Jose or Colorado in the conference final starting later this week.

Until Maroon scored the winner, the star of the show was Bishop, who stopped 52 of 54 shots he faced. He is just the fifth goalie to stop 50 or more shots in a Game 7 since 1955-56. Jordan Binnington has had an easier job in the Blues net, facing only 27 shots.

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The last time the Blues went to double overtime was against Chicago in Game 5 of the 2016 playoffs.

Both goalies got shaken up in the first overtime when players crashed into them, but after staying down on the ice, both stayed in the game. In the first overtime, the Blues outshot Dallas 11-10. The Blues led in shot attempts, 99-47, while Dallas had a 12-11 edge in high-danger chances.

Despite dominating the game for most of the second and third periods, the Blues couldn’t score and the game went to overtime.

The Blues took the early lead on a goal by Vince Dunn, but Dallas tied it after a puck bounced off a referee to set up an easy goal. The Blues outshot Dallas 31-4 in the second and third periods, but they couldn’t get the puck past Bishop. After three periods, the Blues were outshooting Dallas 41-17. Shot attempts were 73-32 in the Blues’ favor.

Dallas managed a few chances late in the third period, and inside the last minute, Dallas’ Roope Hintz took the puck to the net, was forced wide, left a wraparound attempt in front and Jaden Schwartz kept Mats Zuccarello from getting to the puck as it sat in the crease.

In a play reminiscent of his goal in the first period, Dunn took a shot that Maroon tipped, but Bishop blocked it and Tyler Bozak couldn’t get the rebound past Bishop’s pad.

The Blues dominated the second period, outshooting Dallas 18-1, but couldn’t score. The Blues had two power plays in the period, managing only one shot on goal in those four minutes. For the game, the shots on goal were 28-14 in the Blues’ favour.

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The Blues best chance came with less than two minutes to go in the period when a shot by Alex Pietrangelo was blocked by Bishop and the rebound went to his right, where Thomas waited, but it bounced past the young forward and the chance was lost.

It was Thomas’ great stickwork that lead to the Blues’ first power play, but Dallas’ penalty kill, the best in the NHL this post-season, easily shut them down.

Dunn got his first post-season point on a shot from the blue line with Maroon setting a screen in front of the goal with 6:30 to go in the period. Thomas had an assist on the play, making him the youngest Blue to have a point in a Game 7 and the first teenager to have a Game 7 point since 2014.

Dallas tied the game with 4:05 to play in the first. After some extended zone time where the Blues couldn’t clear the puck, David Perron got the puck behind his goal and to the right. He tried to bank the puck off the boards to the other side, but his pass hit the skate of referee Marc Joannette and caromed off the side of the goal and then in front of the net, where Zuccarello got to the puck and shot it in before Binnington, who was expecting the puck to be on the other side, could get back over.

Before that, the Blues had more of the zone time in the first period and threatened to score but couldn’t. Dallas had fewer chances, but the ones they had were dangerous, and Binnington twice made good glove saves.

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