The Stars lost the opening game of their second round series to the Blues but there was a lot to like about the way they played. If Dallas can replicate its Game 1 performance on Saturday, there’s a good chance it will head home with a split. After fielding questions about what his team needed to do better in Game 1, Stars head coach, Jim Montgomery said, “You guys seem to have a different opinion than I do of the game. I don’t think I’m giving you guys the answers you want.”
Our opinion – Jordan Binnington stole it for St. Louis with a brilliant effort in goal.
The Stars peppered Binnington with quality scoring chances, especially in the 3rd period, outshooting the Blues 17-6 in the final frame. Shots from the slot in the 3rd were 13-3 in favor of Dallas. Binnington set a personal playoff-high, stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced from the slot.
Montgomery added, “I thought our process was good. I thought our execution was good. I think our effort can be better.” Looking at the graphic above, you can see why he liked his teams process and execution.
One area Montgomery will certainly focus his attention on ahead of Game 2 is handling the Blues controlled breakouts. Montgomery mentioned the trouble his team was having with St. Louis’ breakouts during an in-game interview with Pierre McGuire and the Robby Fabbri goal was a perfect example.
The Blues completed 15 stretch passes at even-strength. Entering Thursday’s game, the Stars had allowed an average of 11 per-game in the playoffs, 2nd fewest of any team. St. Louis also generated 6 scoring chances off-the-rush, while allowing just 2. Both of the Blues even-strength goals came off-the-rush.
No matter the numbers or the outcome, there are always adjustments to be made, game-to-game. However, the Stars put forth an effort in Game 1 that will lead to a win more often than not. Game 2 goes Saturday at 3:00 pm ET / 2:00 CT.