Blais scores in Stanley Cup Playoffs debut to help Blues win Game 6; Blues, Stars to contest first Game 7 since facing each other in 2016 Second Round; Bruins and Sharks look to earn series-clinching wins on the road
THREE HARD LAPS: QUICK HITS FROM SUNDAY
* Sammy Blais scored in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut to help the Blues defeat the Stars and force Game 7.
* The Blues and Stars will require Game 7 for the fifth time in their 14 all-time head-to-head series, with St. Louis owning a 3-1 edge in the previous four such contests.
* The Bruins and Sharks each look to earn series-clinching wins on the road when they visit the Blue Jackets and Avalanche for Game 6 tonight.
BLAIS HELPS BLUES FORCE GAME 7 IN STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS DEBUT
Sammy Blais scored a third-period goal in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut 33 seconds after a Jaden Schwartz (1-1—2) strike to help the Blues defeat the Stars on the road and force Game 7.
* The Blues won Game 6 after facing a 3-2 series deficit for the 10th time in franchise history and first since the 2000 Conference Quarterfinals (6-2 W at SJS). St. Louis has gone on to win a series after forcing a Game 7 three times in franchise history, doing so in the 1972 Quarterfinals (2-1 OT W at MNS), 1991 Division Semifinals (3-2 W vs. DET) and 1999 Conference Quarterfinals (1-0 OT W at PHX).
* St. Louis improved to 5-1 as visitors in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with its only road loss occurring in Game 4 of the Second Round (4-2 L at DAL). The Blues’ five road wins are their second-most in a postseason in franchise history, behind only their mark of six set during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs (6-4).
* Blais, a sixth-round pick (176th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft, became the 12th player in franchise history to score a goal in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut and first since Brad Boyes in Game 1 of the 2009 Conference Quarterfinals (2-1 L at VAN). He became the fifth player to accomplish the feat in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* Schwartz scored his eighth goal of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (8-3—11 in 12 GP), trailing only Sharks forward Logan Couture (9-4—13 in 12 GP) for the League lead. He moved within five goals of matching the franchise record for most in a postseason, a mark set by Brett Hull during the 1990 Stanley Cup Playoffs (13-8—21 in 12 GP).
* David Perron scored his second career winning goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and first since the series clincher in Game 5 of the 2012 Conference Quarterfinals (3-1 W vs. SJS). Perron, who was selected by St. Louis with the 26th overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, was acquired by the Blues in the offseason to begin his third stint with the team.
* Alex Pietrangelo opened the scoring at 1:03 of the first period to record his 10th point of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (2-8—10 in 12 GP) and match his career high for most in a postseason, a mark set in 2016 (2-8—10 in 20 GP). He became the third Blues defenseman to reach the 10-point mark in multiple postseasons, joining Jeff Brown (3x) and Al MacInnis (2x).
* Jordan Binnington (22 saves) improved to 5-1 on the road in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (2.36 GAA, .918 SV%). He matched the franchise record for most road wins in a postseason, a mark set by Brian Elliott in 2016 (5-4).
GAME 7 HISTORY: BLUES VS. STARS
The Blues and Stars will contest their 17th and 13th all-time Game 7, respectively, with both of their last such contests occurring when they faced each other in the 2016 Second Round. St. Louis earned a 6-1 road win over Dallas powered by 1-2—3 from then 20-year-old Robby Fabbri, who became the youngest player in NHL history to register three points in a Game 7.
* Nine Blues players who have appeared in at least one contest during the 2019 Second Round played in St. Louis’ last Game 7 (Jay Bouwmeester, Carl Gunnarsson, Joel Edmundson, Fabbri, Colton Parayko, Alex Pietrangelo, Jaden Schwartz, Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko). Five members of the Stars’ current roster also skated against the Blues in the decisive contest of their 2016 Second Round series (Jamie Benn, Radek Faksa, Mattias Janmark, John Klingberg and Jason Spezza).
* The Blues and Stars will require Game 7 for the fifth time in their 14 all-time head-to-head series. The Blues own a 3-1 edge in the previous four such contests, earning wins in the 1968 Semifinals (2-1 2OT W), 1972 Quarterfinals (2-1 OT W) and 2016 Second Round (6-1 W); the Stars’ lone victory occurred in the 1984 Division Finals (4-3 OT W).
* Overall, the Blues own an all-time record of 8-8 in their 16 previous Game 7s, including a 4-2 mark on home ice. The Stars are 5-7 in their 12 all-time Game 7s, including a 2-4 clip as the visiting team.
SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY’S ACTION
The Bruins and Sharks look to earn series-clinching wins on the road when they visit the Blue Jackets and Avalanche for Game 6 at Nationwide Arena and Pepsi Center, respectively.
* Boston can reach the Conference Finals for the eighth time since the round was introduced in 1982 (also 1983, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2011 and 2013). The Bruins advanced to the Final four times in that span, capturing the Stanley Cup in 2011.
* Boston holds an all-time record of 13-3 (.813) when winning Game 5 after splitting the first four games in a best-of-seven series. When simply leading 3-2, the Bruins own an all-time series record of 21-5 (.808).
* A win by the hosts will propel Columbus to its first Game 7 in franchise history. The Blue Jackets can become the 16th franchise in NHL history to win its first-ever Game 7 and second in as many years after the Jets accomplished the feat during the 2018 Second Round (5-1 W at NSH).
* San Jose can reach the Conference Finals for the fifth time in franchise history (also 2004, 2010, 2011 and 2016). The Sharks advanced to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final following their most-recent appearance in the Conference Finals – a six-game triumph over the Blues.
* San Jose holds an all-time record of 5-2 (.714) when winning Game 5 after splitting the first four games of a series, including a series win against Colorado in 2010 and a series defeat against them in 2002. When simply leading 3-2, the Sharks own an all-time series record of 9-3 (.750).
* Colorado looks to win Game 6 after facing a 3-2 series deficit for the fifth time in franchise history and first since the 2002 Conference Semifinals when Peter Forsberg scored the overtime winner against San Jose (2-1 OT W). The Avalanche went on to earn a 1-0 regulation victory over the Sharks in Game 7 to advance to the 2002 Western Conference Final.