ST. LOUIS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The Dallas Stars took less than three minutes to strike first in Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues.
Jason Spezza on the fourth line scored his third goal of the series.
That would be it until the second period when the Stars’ Esa Lindell scored with a backhand shot to give Dallas a 2-0 lead.
Ben Bishop made 38 saves for the Stars who can advance with a win in Game 6 at home on Sunday.
Jaden Schwartz scored and Jordan Binnington made 25 saves for the Blues, including stops on three breakaways in the first 4:08 of the second period to keep it a one-goal game at the time.
Spezza gave the Stars a 1-0 lead at 2:42 of the first, burying a one-timer from Tyler Seguin. The goal extended Spezza’s points streak to three games and he’s scored in the last two.
Lindell made it 2-0 with a backhand from the high slot at 6:13 of the second. It was Lindell’s first goal of the postseason.
Bishop made a couple of saves during a Blues power play in the second and stopped quality chances from Brayden Schenn and Robert Thomas in the first. But Bishop’s giveaway at 8:26 of the third put the puck right on Schwartz’s stick, setting him up for a one-timer that pulled the Blues within one.
Bishop redeemed himself late in the third, stretching to get his pad on a point-blank chance for Oskar Sundqvist.
The Blues went 0 for 4 on the power play, giving up several quality short-handed chances to the Stars. The third power play at the end of the second was so futile that it drew hearty boos from the 18,542 at Enterprise Center.
NOTES: The Blues’ defense entered the game with 26 points, third in the league behind Carolina and San Jose (27 points each). … Stars F Mats Zuccarello snapped a career-high four-game postseason points streak. … Blues D Alex Pietrangelo had points in four of his previous five games and is fourth on the franchise list for career points for a defenseman with 35.