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Where: Enterprise Center – St. Louis, MO.
When: Thursday, April 25, 9:30 PM EST
How (TV/Radio): NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA | WFAN
Its not going to be an easy series for Dallas. Not only are they going against a top goaltender in Jordan Binnington, but their offense wasnt exactly the most dynamic during the regular season. Dallas finished the year 21st in the league in shots on goal and 28th in the league in both goals score and shooting percentage.
The first-round series with the Predators wasnt as low scoring as people anticipated, with flashes of brilliance in games four and five combining for ten goals, but theyll need more moving forward. The Stars have no one in the top-15 for playoff scoring at the end of round one. However, it should be noted that throughout the six games both teams played, Dallas scored more goals that the Blues; 18 to the Blues 16.
The St. Louis Blues finished the regular season 15th overall in goals and shots for. They also had the tenth best powerplay in the NHL. The second half of the season saw the team soar and they finished the year by going 8-1-1 in their last ten games.
It was Jaden Schwartz who single-handedly scored a hat trick, the only three goals for the team, in their round-one series clinching game against the Winnipeg Jets. No St. Louis Blues player ranks above 25 in the playoff scoring race but that could be attributed to the depth of the team as the Blues are known for having four contributing lines. The offense also picked up after a mid-series lineup shuffle
The Dallas Stars showed great defensive conduct during the regular season. They finished second in the entire NHL for fewest goals allowed. They also had the fifth best penalty kill – which has carried over into the playoffs. But, another thing that has carried into the playoffs is the amount of shot the Stars allow per game. They ranked 16th in the league for allowing the most shots.
The Dallas Stars had a 100 percent success rate on the penalty kill against Nashville in round one. They also only allowed 12 goals during those six games against the Preds. The worrisome thing about the Stars defense, however, were the shots against – allowing 36 shots against per game on average. The Blues have a lot more offense than Nashville had and allowing that many shots per game will be exploited by St. Louis.
The Blues defense was effective throughout most of the season. Always known as a gritty team that hard to skate through, the Blues finished the regular season in the top-10 of all major defensive statistics. They were fifth in fewest goals against and fourth in fewest shots allowed. They also had the eighth best penalty kill in the league.
During round one, the Blues allowed 16 goals and their penalty killing didnt look as it did during the regular season – having only a 78.6 per cent success rate. They allowed significantly less shots against that their opponents however, allowing only 28 on average per game.
A big part of the Blues miraculous second-half of the regular season was in part due to goaltender Jordan Binnington. In 30 regular season games played, Binnington managed an incredible 24-5-1 record. His regular season goals against average was 1.89 and his save percentage was .927. He also registered five shutouts.
Throughout the first round, in which the Blues defeated the Winnipeg Jets, Jordan Binnington went 4-2 in the six game series. His goals against average was 2.64 and his save percentage was .908. He played 365 minutes and also picked up one assist.
Dallas goalie Ben Bishop put together a stellar season of his own – even qualifying as one of the three Vezina trophy finalists. His regular season record was 27-15-2. He boasted a 1.98 goals against average and his save percentage was .934. He registered seven shutouts.
The Stars faced the Nashville Predators in their first round and Bishop went 4-2. His goals against average throughout the series was 1.90 and his save percentage was .945. He played 380 minutes and picked up two penalty minutes.
As mentioned earlier, neither team boasts a top-15 playoff scorer – at the moment, at least. It is safe to say that the first-round playoff performer for both teams were their goalies. Bishop and Binnington closed out round one as the number two and number three ranked goalies in the playoffs – with Binnington playing 15 less minutes than Bishop.
Dallas highest scorer in round one was Alexander Radulov. Radulov had four goals and two assists – one of those goals being on the powerplay. St. Louis biggest offensive threat during their first series was Alex Pietrangelo, who racked up six assists – two of them on the powerplay.
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