Who takes Game 7 between Stars, Blues?
St. Louis had a chance to dispose of Dallas in six games. What would the Western Conference semifinals be, though, without another intervention by the visiting team?
The Stars staved off the Note on Monday, 3-2, setting the stage for tonight’s winner-take-all affair in the Lone Star State. Handicappers at online sports book Bovada.lv anticipate the peculiar road pattern to end here, listing Lindy Ruff’s crew as a 1.5-goal favorite. The Blues enter as -110 underdogs.
Ken Hitchcock’s players likely won’t bat an eye at the situation. They’re 4-2 away from Scottrade Center this postseason and already went the distance with defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago in the first round. There’s not a second thought about putting Brian Elliott back in the net, either, after the standout suffered a rare misstep in Game 6 and had to be pulled in the first period.
Still, one can’t help but shake the feeling that St. Louis squandered a golden opportunity to finish the proceedings in their own building. Despite the fact that the road squad has claimed four victories in this series, Dallas suddenly feels emboldened. Both Jason Spezza and Mattias Janmark were terrific roughly 48 hours ago, giving captain Jamie Benn some much-needed offensive assistance. Goalie Kari Lehtonen’s also coming off his finest performance (32 saves) of the semis.
The lengthy chess matchup between these two organizations has been a bit more wide-open than expected. With no one willing to commit that most costly of snafus this evening, expect a very conservative opening period or two. The Stars deservedly get the outright edge thanks to the American Airlines Center factor, but the Blues will give the hosts everything. It’s a surefire one-goal thriller.
WEDNESDAY NHL FREE PICK: BLUES +1.5