Stars beat Blues to send series to Game 7
(The Sports Xchange) - Lindy Ruff knew his Dallas Stars needed to do two things on Monday if they wanted to force a Game 7 in their second-round series against the St. Louis Blues instead of going home for the summer.
The coach knew his team needed a quick start, taking the home crowd out of the game. And he also knew Kari Lehtonen needed to have a good game in goal.
Consider both met.
As a result of Dallas' 3-2 win, the series between the two teams that finished two points apart in the regular season will be decided in Game 7 on Wednesday in Dallas, with the winner advancing to the Western Conference final.
The Stars jumped on Brian Elliott for three goals on their first seven shots, including goals by Mattias Janmark and Vernon Fiddler, celebrating his 36th birthday, in a span of 20 seconds 5:13 into the game.
A power-play goal from Jason Spezza, his first goal of the series, later in the period increased the lead to 3-0 and chased Elliott -- who had allowed only 10 goals on 158 shots in the first five games -- from the net.
He was replaced by Jake Allen, making his first appearance of the playoffs.
"We took advantage of some early opportunities," Ruff said. "We got the start we wanted."
Lehtonen took over after that, stopping 35 of 37 shots by the Blues, who outshot the Stars 37-14 in the game. The shots in the second period were 14-5 in favor of the Blues and 14-2 in the third period, but Lehtonen did not falter. Continued...