Getting Over the Road Blues
When assessing the NHL playoffs so far, one thing has become clear: the St. Louis Blues have not been taught the dire consequences of playing on the road.
In fact, the Blues thrive on the road – 4 wins, 0 losses in the playoffs, and 12-4-4 on the road before that.
The Dallas Stars had better teach the Blues the lesson, else the Stars will be playing golf sooner that hoped.
Game 3: Back and Forth
The Blues marched into American Airlines Center on Monday and skated out with a 4-3 win in another one of those games that was anyone’s to the last.
It put St. Louis up, 2-1, in a series that now becomes an alternating road-home affair. That’s why it is crucial for the Stars to prevail at home Wednesday (8:30 CT). They need to break this Blues spell and keep it from being a last-chance tickets situation for Stars fans.
With teams trading goals all night, Game 3 was up for grabs throughout. Most of the action came in the third period, and no one was sure about the decisive goal until a long pause had passed.
Over halfway into the third, the Stars were trailing 2-1 when Andrew Cogliano got clear on a shorthanded breakaway and flicked in the tie. Then Alex Pietrangelo slapped one in from the point about a minute and a half later to give the Blues the lead again.
Dallas tied it once again when Miro Heiskanen and Tyler Seguin made a solid connection across the goal mouth. It was 3-3.
Ultimately, it was Patrick Maroon standing in front of Ben Bishop and lifting one over the goalkeeper’s shoulder that told the story. The puck fell into the webbing and seemingly no one but Maroon saw it go in. But a delayed signal had all of the Blues celebrating.
The Stars had opportunities with an open net and power play late, but could not cash in.
The Series Going Forward
Look for things to tighten up defensively from here, unless these two teams are much more weary than I think.
First, the Stars have been getting a lot of space to pass the puck across the crease to open people. Then the Blues are passing well, particularly from the point to areas in the slot and crease. The Stars can’t continue to give them that kind of space.
So, even though the scoring should be at a steady pace, don’t look for any more outbreaks of four goals in six minutes like in Game 3.
Still Game 4 appears to be a monster for the Stars. And if you get tickets to American Airlines Center for this one, you may get to see the Stars be the first to break the Blues’ road string.
And if things don’t get totally out of control, keep in mind a chance to buy tickets to the Stars’ final home game of the series on Sunday.