Stars beat Blues to draw Flames, St. Louis to face Canucks

Stars beat Blues to draw Flames, St. Louis to face CanucksStars beat Blues to draw Flames, St. Louis to face Canucks
FILE – In this Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 file photo, Dallas Stars’ Joe Pavelski (16) drives against Carolina Hurricanes’ Sebastian Aho (20) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C. The Dallas Stars were in a miserable stretch when the NHL season came to a sudden and unexpected stop 4 1/2 months ago. Vegas was playing some of its best hockey after a coaching change. Both now have the same chance of being the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, and a better chance to re-acclimate to playing again than having to jump right into a playoff series for the resumption of this unprecedented season because of the coronavirus (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File)
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Joe Pavelski tied it with 31.4 seconds left in the third period, Anton Khudobin stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout and the Dallas Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in round-robin play Sunday to clinch the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.” data-reactid=”23″>EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Joe Pavelski tied it with 31.4 seconds left in the third period, Anton Khudobin stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout and the Dallas Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in round-robin play Sunday to clinch the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="After Denis Gurianov scored the only goal of the shootout, Dallas will face the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs. The Stars have some momentum going into that best-of-seven series after picking up their first win of any kind since Feb. 25.” data-reactid=”24″>After Denis Gurianov scored the only goal of the shootout, Dallas will face the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs. The Stars have some momentum going into that best-of-seven series after picking up their first win of any kind since Feb. 25.

”This game kind of re-established our game and got us back to an understanding of what it takes,” Pavelski said. ”Relief? No. Confidence a little bit, and we’ll keep moving forward.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis went winless in the round robin and will next face the Vancouver Canucks. The Blues dropped from first in the West when the NHL season was halted in March to the conference’s fourth seed.” data-reactid=”30″>Defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis went winless in the round robin and will next face the Vancouver Canucks. The Blues dropped from first in the West when the NHL season was halted in March to the conference’s fourth seed.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="''We definitely didn't play our best in these three games, but I think we've progressively gotten better,'' said goaltender Jake Allen, who stopped 18 of the 19 shots he faced in his first action of the NHL’s restart. ”(The Canucks are) a great team. They’re fast, they’re young, they’re skilled and it’s going to be a challenge for us.”” data-reactid=”31″>”We definitely didn’t play our best in these three games, but I think we’ve progressively gotten better,” said goaltender Jake Allen, who stopped 18 of the 19 shots he faced in his first action of the NHL’s restart. ”(The Canucks are) a great team. They’re fast, they’re young, they’re skilled and it’s going to be a challenge for us.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Khudobin made 12 saves in regulation and overtime for the Stars, who were without top center Tyler Seguin and starting goaltender Ben Bishop. The team said they were ”unfit to play,” and coach Rick Bowenss termed them ”day to day.”” data-reactid=”32″>Khudobin made 12 saves in regulation and overtime for the Stars, who were without top center Tyler Seguin and starting goaltender Ben Bishop. The team said they were ”unfit to play,” and coach Rick Bowenss termed them ”day to day.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Jordan Binnington did not dress, though Blues coach Craig Berube said last year’s Cup-winning goalie is healthy. Robert Thomas scored on the first shot of the game, and St. Louis didn’t have another goal the rest of the way.” data-reactid=”33″>Jordan Binnington did not dress, though Blues coach Craig Berube said last year’s Cup-winning goalie is healthy. Robert Thomas scored on the first shot of the game, and St. Louis didn’t have another goal the rest of the way.

The Blues scored first in all three games, but couldn’t hold any lead.

”We’ve shown and we’re confident that when we play our game and play the way we want to, we’re a tough team to beat,” Thomas said. ”It’s obviously a little bit disappointing, but for us it was about finding our game and we started finding it today.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The two teams that played in the 2019 Cup Final, the Blues and Boston Bruins, each went 0-3 in round-robin play to go from first to fourth.” data-reactid=”36″>The two teams that played in the 2019 Cup Final, the Blues and Boston Bruins, each went 0-3 in round-robin play to go from first to fourth.

”They’re a defending Stanley Cup champion, had a good regular season,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said of the Blues. ”Is the mental edge there for them yet, or is it because they’re a bigger, heavier team it takes them a while to sort of wear teams down?”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="NOTES: Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko returned after missing their previous game for precautionary reasons. … Coach Craig Berube said injured forward Sammy Blais would be evaluated Monday. … Veteran Troy Brouwer remained in the lineup for St. Louis.” data-reactid=”38″>NOTES: Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko returned after missing their previous game for precautionary reasons. … Coach Craig Berube said injured forward Sammy Blais would be evaluated Monday. … Veteran Troy Brouwer remained in the lineup for St. Louis.

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