The St. Louis Blues should have won Game 7 about four times over before regulation even ended, but finally, in double overtime, they got some reward for an absolutely dominant performance. While an instantly legendary showing from Stars goalie Ben Bishop almost allowed Dallas to survive, the Blues broke through after over an hour of scoreless hockey, winning 2-1 with Pat Maroon’s scrappy rebound goal at 5:50 of the second OT.
Both teams found the back of the net early to exit the first period tied at one-all. But buoyed by the home crowd, the Blues played the second and third periods with their feet firmly on the Stars’ necks. On the whole, they outshot the Stars 54-30, but in those final 40 minutes of regulation, Ben Bishop may as well have been the only guy on the ice for Dallas.
The Stars dusted themselves off and asserted themselves more in extra time, matching the Blues’ 13 overtime shots, but it was just barely not enough, and all you can blame is bad luck. Ninety seconds before Maroon’s goal ended it, Jamie Benn stole the puck and tried for a wraparound on Jordan Binnington. Benn didn’t even have to get it over the pad—the part near the Blues goalie’s skate was in the dang net!—but the captain hit the wrong spot, and that was all St. Louis needed to secure the victory.
No matter what happened to end this game, the final result was destined to be cruelly inexplicable, but in this case, at least the team that thoroughly outplayed its opponents got to triumph. The Blues, who have never won a Stanley Cup in their five-decade history, advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they’ll play the winner of Sharks-Avs on Wednesday night.