Road-rampaging Blues look for another win at Dallas
Through four road games in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the St. Louis Blues own four road victories.
It's hard enough to win with home-ice advantage at this time of year, but what the Blues did to build their current 2-1 series lead on the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference semifinals is impressive.
St. Louis looks to maintain its road form Wednesday at Dallas in Game 4 of the best-of-seven set.
"We're really confident on the road. We've played in tough buildings now throughout the playoffs," Blues forward Tyler Bozak told NHL.com. "We've found ways to win late in games. When we get down or when teams tie it up, we don't really sit back. We kind of get back to our game and put it behind us."
That attitude was evident in the Blues' 4-3 road win on Monday.
Three times St. Louis surrendered the lead in a thrilling affair, particularly amid a heart-stopping final seven minutes of action.
The clubs combined for four goals in just over five minutes. The Stars twice tied the game only to see St. Louis regain the lead both times. The visitors claimed the victory thanks to Patrick Maroon's goal with 98 seconds left. To top it off, the Blues were short-handed the final 44 seconds but held strong.
"Our whole team was at our best," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "From the drop of the puck, we were a lot more aggressive, we were a lot more engaged in the game, just on pucks, physical, played a much heavier game, everybody. That (Bozak) line got rewarded with a couple of goals tonight."
Now, the onus is on the Stars to recover with the pressure on them.
Falling short despite repeated comebacks is hard enough, but another loss would leave Dallas in must-win territory and the Blues three chances to close out the series. Then again, the Stars were down two games to one to the Nashville Predators in their opening-round series and promptly won three straight to complete one of the many upsets that have highlighted this spring's Stanley Cup chase.
"We were here about a week and a half ago, and it's the same kind of story," Dallas center Tyler Seguin said. "So we are pretty excited to respond and take (Tuesday) to regroup and come back with a better effort."
Stars center Jason Spezza added, "Obviously, the amount of times we (came) back, it's a frustrating one in the end to lose like that (Monday). But I feel like that probably wasn't our best game we can play, and we still had a chance to win."
The Stars must find a solution to keep the deep Blues team in check. Sure, Dallas managed to prevent the top St. Louis forwards from taking over the Past couple of games, but it was the third line of Maroon, Bozak and Robert Thomas that made the difference.
"It didn't matter who we put out against that line, they seemed to have their way with us," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. "We've got to do a better job taking away time and space, and we've got to have our second layer there quicker. Which means when they move it and we're able to get pressure on the puck, we've got to have someone come in there to win that loose-puck battle."
--Field Level Media
Updated April 30, 2019