The St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars have come out of nowhere to reach the Western Conference Semifinals and are in a tight battle in round two. This series has all the makings of a series that will go the distance, but the Dallas Stars have stolen home-ice advantage from the Blues. St. Louis took the series opener by a score of 3-2, but the Stars came away with a 4-2 victory in Game 2.
St. Louis was the worst team in the NHL heading into the new year, but they bounced back in a big way. The Blues were able to sneak past the Winnipeg Jets in round one of the NHL Playoffs in six games. Dallas was a wild card team in the Western Conference, but they looked terrific in round one. The Stars eliminated the heavily favored Nashville Predators in six games in the opening round of the playoffs. Dallas is -120 over the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of the series.
Bishop Stepping Up For Stars
The Dallas Stars aren’t a terrific offensive team, but they do a great job of limiting their opponents. Goaltender Ben Bishop has been terrific so far in this postseason, and he is facing his former team in the Blues in this round. The veteran goalie has stopped 94 percent of the shots that he has faced in the postseason and made 32 saves in the Game 2 victory. Defense and goaltending will be a huge key for the Stars moving forward.
Alexander Radulov scored four goals for the Stars in their first-round upset of the Nashville Predators, but he has been quiet so far in this series. Left winger Roope Hintz scored a pair of goals in Game 2 of the series to lift the Stars to victory. Dallas averaged just 2.55 goals per game during the regular season but has found just enough offense to be competitive in the playoffs.
Blues Need More Offense
The St. Louis Blues have a lot more offensive firepower than the Stars do, but that hasn’t always translated into production in the playoffs. St. Louis is averaging less than three goals per game in the postseason, and that could hurt them going forward. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has done all that he can do for his team, leading the Blues with seven points in the playoffs. Vladimir Tarasenko has scored four goals through the first eight games of the playoffs, but the Blues need him to be more productive.
Rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington has allowed just 2.61 goals per game so far this postseason, but he was overwhelmed in Game 2. Binnington has stopped just 91 percent of the shots that he has faced and really struggles when his team is on the penalty kill. The Blues allowed just 2.68 goals per game during the regular season, and their defense needs to help out their young goaltender on the road in this series.
Stars Take 2-1 Series Lead
The Blues and Stars are extremely similar teams, and every game in this series should be tight throughout. Dallas should have a ton of momentum after stealing Game 2 in St. Louis, and they will use that to their advantage in Game 3. Bet the Dallas Stars -120 over the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of the series.