Kukla's Korner Hockey
David Backes with the OT power play goal after Antoine Roussel took an interference penalty at the offensive blue line.
Final score was 4-3.
added8:12pm, game highlights are below...
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Vladimir Tarasenko saw the most ice time of any Blues forward in Game 1, and it was the second-most of any forward on the ice behind Dallas’ Jamie Benn.
“What did he play?,” Hitchcock asked during his session with reporters on Saturday afternoon.
Told it was 21 minutes, 4 seconds, Hitchcock replied: “Oh did he? Quite a bit, eh? Can we maybe shut that story up now?”
Late in the Blues’ first-round series with Chicago, when the Blues dropped two in a row, Tarasenko’s ice time, or lack of it, became a common talking point. But his minutes in Game 1 were the most he’s played in a regulation game in this year’s playoffs. Still, he was kept quiet by Dallas’ defense, limiting him to three shots on goal.
“Well, obviously he’s one guy that we got the radar on, that we know when he’s out there we want to make sure we don’t give him much ice,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “I thought for the most part we didn’t make any mistakes that allowed any big rush plays when he was out there, and we closed fast on him inside the zone. We went after him physically and he’s a tough guy to knock off his feet, but I thought we played him as hard as we could when it came to the physical front.”
from Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
If you struggled to recognize the Blues on Friday night, you’re not alone. Those may have been the same players who eliminated the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round, but they definitely weren’t the same team.
They were slower, a tad behind most of the night and completely missing in the first two periods against the Dallas Stars. By the time it was over, they were fortunate to have lost Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals by a mere 2-1 margin at American Airlines Center.
The Blues hardly resembled the team that beat the Blackhawks in a thrilling, seven-game classic in the Western Conference quarterfinals.
“They outplayed us,” captain David Backes said. “They deserved to win this one. We got to regroup and find our game and play for a full 60 the way we did in the first series and we’ll be just fine.
Watch the game highlights below...
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
The top two seeds in the Central Division get started tonight in Dallas, as the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues square off at 8 p.m. in Game 1. Here’s what to watch for as each team tries to get the early edge:
The Blues advanced in large part because they shut down Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as they eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games. It doesn’t get any easier for St. Louis this round, as Stars captain Jamie Benn has been red-hot this postseason. Only the New York Islanders' John Tavares has more points in this postseason than Benn's 10. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he’ll look for every opportunity to get Benn on the ice in a favorable matchup with the series starting at home.
“I’ve got options,” Ruff said Friday morning. “I can drop him on a different line, not tipping my hand. There’s different places I can play him … whether that means more offensive zone starts, less defensive zone starts, double shifting, not following a rotation, a lot of different things. It’s something we’ve been doing since day one.”
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock will attempt to get forward Alexander Steen on the ice as often as possible against Benn’s line.
"You'll find that he's not as quiet and introverted as maybe he leads on. He's the leader in our room, he's one of the funniest guys in our room, he's involved in a lot of the stuff that goes on in our room...He's a big part of our room. He truly is a natural leader, the way he plays and the way he acts, we're lucky to have a guy like him, and you can see him grow into it even more. You go out and win the scoring title and then follow it up where he finished second this year. I think he has the inner belief that he is one of the best top five players in the game. Whether people talk about it or not, we know it and he knows it, and I think that confidence kind of rubs off on everybody."
-Jason Spezza of the Dallas Stars on Jamie Benn. Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News has many quotes from the Dallas players before tonight's game agains the St. Louis Blues.
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
They got off to a bad start, Ken Hitchcock and Lindy Ruff, opposing coaches in the 1999 Stanley Cup final; two guys left to rationalize the chaotic ending to one of the Cup’s great trench wars.
Ruff, coaching Buffalo, was livid at the way his Sabres lost, at home, in triple overtime, on a goal by Brett Hull that, according to the rules of the day, ought not to have counted.
Hitchcock, proud of an aging Dallas team that, by the end, was running on fumes and grit, sore about being asked, essentially, to apologize for the circumstances of the Stars’ championship, fired back at Ruff’s allegation that Dallas’s win was tainted by league incompetence.
“Tell Lindy to f— off,” Hitchcock spat as he vacated the post-game podium.
Time, though, and a couple of Canadian Olympic team assignments as assistant coaches under Mike Babcock, threw the two of them together and grew a scab over the old cut.
But that deep a wound never entirely heals, and now — Ruff coaching Dallas, Hitchcock with St. Louis, on opposite benches for the West semifinal series that opens Friday night in the Big D...
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Tyler Seguin is injured. We sort of know what the injury is, but we're not really exactly sure. The Stars want it that way. Seguin suffered a partial cut of the Achilles tendon March 17, had surgery to stitch that up, and then rested 11 games. He returned to play in Game 2 against Minnesota, sustained a new injury, and has not skated since.
Maybe it's his calf, maybe it's still his Achilles. Asked Wednesday if he could help the fans out a little, Stars general manager Jim Nill clarified at least what Seguin isn't doing.
"He can't skate yet, I can say that," Nill said. "He's day to day, and once he gets on the ice, it's probably four to five days from there."
As you rush to your Don Cherry's Rock 'em Sock 'em calendar and do the math, you figure that means Seguin will miss the first two games of the series with the Blues. In your heart, you know it means he will probably miss more than that.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The Stars had waited since 2008 to win a playoff series, so what was an extra 20 minutes?
As it turned out, pretty excruciating -- and possibly very educational.
Dallas survived a frenetic four-goal third period by the Minnesota Wild on Sunday and took a 5-4 victory to close out the best-of-7 first-round playoff series in six games.
It was a microcosm of where this franchise has been, struggling through bankruptcy and six playoff-less seasons since 2008, and also a possible hint at just how tough the road ahead might be.
The Stars advance to play the winner of the Chicago-St. Louis series, which will be decided Monday night. The second-round series will open at American Airlines Center later this week.
"It's been a long process, and this is just the first step," captain Jamie Benn said. "It's not going to be easy. Any time a team has it where their lives are on the line, you're going to see their desperation."
The Stars took a 4-0 lead into the 3rd period, then the Wild started a furious comeback only to fall jus short.
The Dallas Stars beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 to advance to the second round where they will play the winnter of the Chicago/St. Louis series.
The Stars had a 4- 0 lead going into the 3rd and this is how close the Wild were to tying the game late in the 3rd.
added 6:48pm, A better view of the no goal in video form below...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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