St. Louis (3-3) at Dallas (3-3)
When: Wednesday, May 11th 2016
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: NBC Sports
In a series dominated by the road team so far, the Dallas Stars will try and advance on home-ice as they host the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of their Western Conference Semifinal series on Wednesday. The Stars got out to a quick 3-0 lead in Game 6 and held off the Blues 3-2 to force the deciding game. Mattias Janmark, Vernon Fidler, and Jason Spezza each scored first period goals chasing Blues goaltender Brian Elliott. Kari Lehtonen was sensational for Dallas stopping 35-of-37 shots including some big stops late in the third period to preserve the win. The Stars last hosted a Game 7 on May 27th, 2000 when St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock was still coaching the Stars, and they beat Colorado at Reunion Arena in the Western Conference finals. Dallas has played only one seven-game series since, losing at Vancouver in the first round of the 2007 playoffs. That was just weeks before the Stars used their fifth-round pick in the draft to select Jamie Benn, now their captain and with an NHL-high 15 points this postseason.
Hitchcock is still mum on who will start in goal Wednesday, opting to ‘sleep on it’ and decide after the morning skate. The Blues, who finished only two points behind Dallas in the regular-season standings for the Western Conference’s top seed, are 4-2 on the road this postseason and have already played a seven-game series. St. Louis won its first-round clincher at home, when Troy Brouwer scored the Game 7 winner against defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago. Brouwer is playing in his NHL-record eighth consecutive playoff series to go seven games. He also had Games 7s with Washington and Chicago the previous five seasons. Vladimir Tarasenko leads the Blues with 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists) this postseason after assisting on a goal in Game 6. Patrik Berglund scored his third playoff goal on Monday and leads the Blues with a +7 rating.
Uncertainty in goal is not ideal when it comes to a Game 7. Dallas won’t play any differently no matter who’s in net for St. Louis. Home-ice might not have met much so far in this series, but it will tonight. I’m taking Dallas to advance.
Pick: Stars -115