Make that two rounds, two Game 7s for the St. Louis Blues in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Dallas Stars got up to a big lead in Game 6 and were able to hang on for the win, forcing the decisive game. The Blues were able to prevail in their first Game 7, but that was at home. Can they repeat the feat against the dangerous Stars, only this time in hostile territory?
Get the lowdown on this do-or-die Game 7 between the Blues and the Stars with our preview below. And while you’re at it, check out our preview of the Capitals vs. Pens Game 6 here.
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Blues vs. Stars Game 7 Preview
Where: American Airlines Center – Dallas, TX
When: Wednesday, May 11, 8:00 PM ET
Line: St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars – view all NHL lines
TV Broadcast: NBCSN
Series: Series tied 3-3
Betting on the St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues were simply blitzed in the first period of Game 6. Goalie Brian Elliott gave up three goals in seven shots and was yanked for Jake Allen. The Blues had to play catch-up all game, but they just couldn’t claw all the way back as they lost, 3-2.
Of course, this won’t be the Blues’ first Game 7 of these playoffs. They ousted the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the previous round in the seventh game. The Blues should have a better idea of what the pressure will be like and what the required effort must be for the big game as opposed to the young Stars.
Meanwhile, expect a bounce-back effort from Elliott. Elliott has had a remarkable postseason, recording a .932 save percentage prior to getting chased out of Game 6. He has a .942 save percentage in three games in Dallas. He also has a 5-2 record with a 2.29 GAA and a .930 save percentage in seven total road games this postseason.
Betting on the Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars are the West’s No. 1 seed for a reason. They have arguably the deepest, most explosive offense in the league, and they showed it again with their great first period in Game 6.
They also know how to take care of business at home. Their 28-11-2 home record was the best in the West during the regular season. They haven’t been quite as good in the playoffs (3-1-2), but home-ice should still provide decent enough advantage for a crucial Game 7.
The Stars are still a young team for the most part, but they signed up experienced vets like Patrick Sharp (four goals and six points in the playoffs) and Johnny Oduya exactly for times like these. The former Blackhawks have been through their share of pressure-packed situations in the playoffs, and should provide their young teammates some much-needed leadership.
Jamie Benn, who is the Stanley Cup Playoffs co-leader with 15 points, is a big-game performer and will be ready to lead the Stars attack.
Speaking of big games, goalie Kari Lehtonen had one in Game 6. He made 35 saves and held on to the lead despite being under siege for the last two periods. However, it’s tough to completely trust Lehtonen in a Game 7, even at home. Lehtonen was chased from Game 2 in Dallas after giving up three goals in just five shots, and also gave up three in only 21 shots in Game 5.
The Blues get the better of the young Stars as they prevail in Game 7, 3-2.
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