"Going to have a lot of conflicted friends and family".
The Central Division rivals, who both advanced after beating higher-seeded teams, open their best-of-seven, second-round playoff series Thursday night in St. Louis.
The Blues entered the playoffs as the hottest team in the National Hockey League and were quite possibly better than they have been all season in their six-game defeat of the Winnipeg Jets in the opening round.
With a chance to clinch a playoff series at home for the first time in 11 years, the Dallas Stars needed overtime again.
Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko was limited to two power-play goals during the opening round, but he's the type of player who could get on a roll at any time.
But with all due respect to Carolina and its fans, if the Caps were not rattled by the crowds in Columbus, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and three Stanley Cup Final games in Vegas, saying the red-clad fans in Raleigh have been able to fluster the defending champs seems an overly simplistic explanation. During an incredible regular season, Binnington had only five losses, but two of them were against the Stars. He plays the puck well. It's turned the man advantage into a consistent source of goals for the Blues all season long.
The Blues have rookie Jordan Binnington in net.
Binnington, who led the National Hockey League in goals-against average and didn't lose consecutive starts during the regular season, showed tremendous poise and slammed the door when it mattered for the Blues.
Dallas, with rookie coach Jim Montgomery, won its last three games against Nashville.
Asked if he did anything to refocus after that 3-2 loss, Bishop responded: "Yeah, I thanked that blocker (pad) for all its work and got a new one".
As for the momentum of Game 6 carrying over, Bishop discounted that thought a bit. With 15 seconds left in the game, Bozak made a desperation pass towards the net right onto the stick of Jaden Schwartz who redirected/tipped it into the back of the net to go up 3-2 in the game and the series. Every rink is different in that way, and you try to test that out. However, the Blues went the road less traveled.
The same holds true for the Blues, who dispatched the Jets in six games, showing plenty of resolve in winning four one-goal games - including a pair of impressive third-period rallies. Dallas added a 4-1 win at St. Louis on March 2.
How they did so is rather interesting.
"We had trouble with Winnipeg, too", Schenn said. The Blues eliminated Winnipeg in six games during their first-round series.
The Stars swept a first-round series their first season in Dallas, but the rest have been second-round matchups.
Dallas won a six-game series against the Blues on its way to winning its only Stanley Cup championship in 1999.
The Blues went from having a league-worst 34 points on January 2 to becoming the first team that was last in the NHL at the beginning of the calendar year to advance in the post-season. The Blues have a lot more offense than Nashville had and allowing that many shots per game will be exploited by St. Louis.
"Well it wasn't from a lack of opportunities", said Berube. "But I think just for us, we've got to get bodies in the crease, or in front of him, take his eyes away and make it hard on him".
Seguin, with two goals and four assists this postseason, missed the 2016 playoff series because of Achilles and calf issues.
"Sitting up in the stands was not fun", Seguin said.
"I just think that a whole different aura was created past year", Todd Reirden said. Statistically, not quite. However, the stops Binnington did make were massive, including a few breakaway attempts and game-saving stops at various points throughout the series. The balanced nature of St. Louis' top-nine could create a matchup nightmare for the Stars.
After four goals and a plus-7 rating in the first round, Radulov had a maintenance day and wasn't on the ice for practice Wednesday. A little over four minutes into the third period, David Perron got his first goal to tie the game. "I told Rads I was gonna say that".