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Ben Bishop stopped 38 shots while Jason Spezza and Esa Lindell provided all of the necessary offense as the visiting Dallas Stars claimed a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Friday and are one victory away from advancing to the Western Conference final.
The Stars, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-2, will try to close out the series Sunday afternoon in Dallas, an impressive feat for a team that made the Stanley Cup playoffs with a wild-card berth.
The Stars took advantage of a strong start when Spezza opened the scoring 2:42 into the clash. Right after Blues goalie Jordan Binnington made a big save on Mattias Janmark, Tyler Seguin gained the puck at the end boards, then made a perfect pass to Spezza as he cruised into an opening, which the veteran quickly one-timed into the net for his third goal of the playoffs.
Lindell doubled the Dallas lead with his first-ever playoff goal 6:13 into the second period — a goal he’ll need to embellish in future tales. Lindell was the trailer on the rush when he took a drop pass from Alexander Radulov, worked to the slot and then saw his backhander ricochet off the leg of Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and into the net.
The Stars appeared poised to cruise to victory against a shockingly lackluster Blues team, but Bishop made a huge gaffe just before the midway point of the third period that gave the hosts life. Bishop stopped a long dump-in but then whiffed on a pass attempt to move the puck to a defenseman. Blues forward Jaden Schwartz raced to the loose puck and snapped home a shot to make it a one-goal game.
Bishop, however redeemed himself in a big way until the final buzzer with a handful of saves, the biggest being when he denied Oskar Sundqvist in a showdown.
Binnington stopped 25 shots for the Blues, who have won four of five road games in the playoffs, but have won only two of six home dates.
—Field Level Media