Dallas Stars (+140) at St. Louis Blues (-165)
Game time: Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Mo.
Where to watch: NBCSN
Series: Tied 3-3
The fourth Game 7 of the NHL postseason is Tuesday night, when the St. Louis Blues host the Dallas Stars.
As history indicates, the decisive Western conference matchup is a virtual toss-up. Since 2015 the road team has won half of the last 20 Game 7s in the NHL postseason, but in 2019 the home team is 2-1 in the seventh meeting in a series.
The last time these teams faced off in a Game 7, the Blues advanced in the second round in 2016, before losing to the San Jose Sharks in the conference final. St. Louis is 8-8 overall in Game 7s but 3-1 in Game 7s against the Stars. The Stars are 5-7 all time in Game 7s, and 2-3 since moving to Texas.
As for roster experience, the Blues feature 15 players who have played a Game 7, with Carl Gunnarsson and Patrick Maroon each competing in three. Dallas’ roster is no stranger to a series that goes the distance, either. Forward Andrew Cogliano has played in five in his career, while center Tyler Seguin and defenseman Ben Lovejoy have battled in four.
The concern for St. Louis is its current postseason home record. The Blues won just two of their six games on home ice during the playoffs, though they are 16-6 in their last 22 at Enterprise Center.
On the brink of elimination in Game 6, the Blues capitalized on goalie Ben Bishop’s injury, with Jaden Schwartz and Sammy Blais scoring a goal each on the Vezina Trophy finalist once he went down with a hit to the collar bone.
Bishop should be back in the lineup tonight and prepared for the challenge, with 48 playoff games under his belt and a .927 save percentage over his postseason career. In net for St. Louis is Jordan Binnington, who has a 3.00 goals-against average in the first four games of the series but gave up just one in Game 6.
Dallas is 8-2 in its last 10 as a road underdog and 11-4 in its last 15 road games. St. Louis is 3-7 in its last 10 playoff games as a favorite. Most importantly for Dallas the underdog/road team is 4-1 in the last five meetings between the two and the Stars are also 4-1 in the last five in St. Louis.
The Blues may have been the better regular-season team, but Dallas has surged in the playoffs, particularly on defense, with a 94.3 penalty-kill percentage (best in the postseason) and a 2.3 goals-against average. The year of the upset will continue Tuesday, with Dallas taking the series and awaiting the winner of one more Game 7, the Sharks versus the Avalanche on Wednesday night.
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