The NHL was fairly quiet on Sunday with only one game on the slate as the Dallas Stars entertained the St. Louis Blues in Game 6. There was another game scheduled if necessary, but the Carolina Hurricanes win and sweep over the New York Islanders on Friday, rendered the game useless and for the first time since the Stanley Cup playoffs began, there was no evening game.
There was plenty of off-ice news coming out of Edmonton where Ken Holland has the General Manager’s job, if he wants it. The Oilers are in desperate need of a good GM (something that was lacking with previous GM Peter Chiarelli who was unable to provide any sort of offensive players to go with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl) and Holland certainly fits the bill after being the Red Wings GM for the last 22 seasons, which included three Stanley Cups. Holland was kicked upstairs by Detroit to get Steve Yzerman back in town as the new GM of the Red Wings but it appears that Holland still wants to run an NHL team. He will have a great start with McDavid and Draisaitl in tow and if he takes the job, look for the Oilers to return to glory in the near future.
ST. LOUIS 4 DALLAS 1 (The best-of-seven series is tied at 3-3)
One shot may have completely changed the series. With the Blues facing elimination but leading 2-1 in the third period, St. Louis defenseman Colton Parayko wound up from the point and slapped the puck at the net. The shot hit Ben Bishop like he had been hit by a bullet in the collarbone and down he went. The Stars were unable to gain possession of the puck and Jaden Schwartz deflected an Alexander Steen shot into the net to give the Blues a 3-1 lead. Bishop stayed in the game after receiving a look-see by the training staff but after Sammy Blais (in his first NHL playoff game of his career) scored just 33 seconds later, putting the puck through the five-hole, Bishop’s day was done and so were the hopes of the Stars clinching the series in front of their hometown fans.
The Blues came out flying to open the game and they were rewarded quickly when Alex Pietrangelo scored from the point with a shot that eluded the screened Bishop and it gave the Blues the early 1-0 lead just 63 seconds into the opening frame.
Tyler Seguin evened the score at 1 with 8:25 left in the opening period as he one-timed a Mats Zuccarello pass that trickled past Jordan Binnington, It was a power play effort and it was the only shot of the 23 that Binnington faced, that managed to elude him. That’s the way the first period ended with St. Louis outshooting Dallas 10-7.
The second period was fairly even until David Perron took a perfect feed from Oskar Sundqvist and scored his third of the playoffs and first in eight games, to give the Blues the lead with what turned out to be the game-winner.
The Blues managed only four shots on goal in the second to Dallas’s nine, but shut things down in the third as they outshot the Stars 11-7 and scored both goals to win 4-1.
Binnington is 7-5 with the win, and has a 2.59 GAA and a .911 save percentage. Bishop stopped 16-of-20 shots before he was removed from the contest. Anton Khudobin relieved him with just over 11 minutes to go in the game and stopped all five shots directed his way. It was only the second playoff game in his career for Khudobin and he had stopped all eight shots in his previous outing last season in relief of Tuukka Rask in Boston.
Jason Spezza played a game-low 9:03.