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Jaden Schwartz, David Perron Lead Blues to 4-1 Win vs. Stars; Force Game 7

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2019

DALLAS, TEXAS - MAY 05:  David Perron #57 of the St. Louis Blues celebrates against the Dallas Stars during the second period of Game Six of the Western Conference Second Round of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 5, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The St. Louis Blues live to fight another day after beating the Dallas Stars 4-1 on Sunday at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

David Perron delivered the decisive goal in the second period to keep the Blues alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs, while Jordan Binnington made 22 saves between the pipes.

Heading into the third period, the Stars only needed one goal to get back into the game. The final frame couldn't have gone much worse for Dallas, as the team not only surrendered two goals but also saw goaltender Ben Bishop leave the game.

Colton Parayko's slap shot appeared to hit Bishop in the collarbone. As he remained down on the ice, the Blues capitalized and Jaden Schwartz scored to make it a 3-1 game at the 7:37 mark.

St. Louis Blues @StLouisBlues

Jaden Schwartz redirected Alexander Steen's shot. Unbelievable! #stlblues #WeAllBleedBlue https://t.co/hi8uj8IIyX

Some Stars fans likely wondered why the referee didn't stop play when Bishop went down. He was clearly injured and thus gave the Blues a wide-open net. The Athletic's Sean Shapiro explained the complexity of the situation:

Sean Shapiro @seanshapiro

My understanding of this situation: the refs could have blown it dead, but they are not obligated to because it's a judgement call when Bishop is still wearing a mask. If his mask had come off, or if he had taken it off the whistle would have gone right away.

Owen Newkirk, the Stars' radio host, also cited Rule 8.1, which leaves it up to the referees' discretion about whether to blow the whistle. That gray area is likely to be a topic of discussion in Dallas. By the letter of the law, the officiating crew arguably made the right decision, but Stars players and fans will be understandably frustrated with how everything unfolded.

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The moment was bound to be a flash point regardless of what the referees ruled.

Greg Wyshynski @wyshynski

For all the debate about this call, there's zero chance the officials wouldn' have been absolutely slaughtered if they blew this play dead and Bishop stayed in the game, even if for another shift.

Bishop remained in the game, a decision Dallas immediately regretted. Thirty-three seconds after Schwartz's goal, Sammy Blais beat the Stars netminder with a slap shot over his right shoulder on the breakaway.

St. Louis Blues @StLouisBlues

WOW! https://t.co/YLkuvS2kcO

Bishop immediately exited to make way for Anton Khudobin. WFAA's Mike Leslie reported Stars trainers were performing an X-ray on Bishop in the locker room to determine the extent of his injury.

It's somewhat important to remember the Blues were already up 2-1 at the time of Bishop's injury.

The Stars hardly had time to settle into the game before they were staring at a 1-0 deficit. Alex Pietrangelo put St. Louis ahead 63 seconds into the first period, firing a wrist shot past Bishop.

#StanleyCup on NBC @NHLonNBCSports

The @StLouisBlues waste no time getting on the board. They want GAME 7. #STLvsDAL here: https://t.co/TUZYHseSQE https://t.co/97m3kGuo4L

Tyler Seguin answered with a power-play goal to even the score at one with 8:25 remaining in the period. But David Perron restored St. Louis' advantage 15:24 after the first intermission.

#StanleyCup on NBC @NHLonNBCSports

.@DP_57 gives the @StLouisBlues the lead. #STLvsDAL here: https://t.co/TUZYHseSQE https://t.co/97A9Nob3Gc

As if the specter of a Game 7 on the road isn't bad enough for the Stars, they might now have to start their backup goaltender.

In the regular season, Bishop was second in goals-against average (1.98) and first in save percentage (.934). Khudobin doesn't represent a significant step down as he finished 15th (2.57 goals-against average) and eighth (.923) in those two categories.

Having said that, a gap exists between Bishop and Khudobin, and it could make a difference in Game 7.

Khudobin has never made a playoff start in his NHL career, and his most recent start this year was a month ago in Dallas' 6-1 defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks on April 5. Now, the 32-year-old could be thrust into the net for his team's biggest game of the season.

        

What's Next?

The series moves to a decisive Game 7 in St. Louis on Tuesday. The puck drops at 8 p.m. ET.

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