Pat Maroon scored a goal less than six minutes into the second overtime frame to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Blues advance to the Western Finals and will play the winner of the Colorado Avalanche/San Jose Sharks series, which also went a full seven games.
The Blues won two games in a row, including a huge Game 6 in Dallas over the weekend. The Blues won 4-1 to extend the series to seven games. With game 7 in St. Louis, the Blues did not squander the home-ice advantage.
The Blues (45-28-9) finished with 99 points in the regular season, but they were in last place at one point this season. In late January, the Blues were 21-22-5. They turned things around with an 11-game winning streak and finished the season 24-6-4.
Pat Maroon, 31, played the role of both the unlikely hero and hometown hero with an overtime goal to lead the Blues to a Game 7 victory. Maroon grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, which is not exactly a hotbed for American hockey players like the Northeast Kingdom (Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine) or Upper Midwest region like Minnesota and the Dakotas.
“As a kid playing in a basement, on the street, you always think about doing those. It’s unreal. It means the world,” said Maroon.
The Philadelphia Flyers drafted Maroon in 2007. He played for three other NHL teams before he signed a one-year deal with his hometown team.
Maroon came into Game 7 against the Stars with only 2 goals and 3 total points in the postseason. Maroon scored a game-winning goal in the Blues win in Game 3, but had not scored another point the entire series. The left winger logged over 20 minutes of ice time with the game heading into double overtime and the Blues in search of fresh legs.
Maroon experienced the blues first hand this season. He struggled this season which included a 23-game scoring drought.
“I got my game and my confidence back where it needs to be. It’s been a heck of a journey,” said Maroon.
Maroon scored the series-clinching goal against Ben Bishop. The Stars goalie, who also grew up in St. Louis, had 52 saves in Game 7. The Blues sent everything at him and Bishop stop nearly everything except Maroon’s put-back after a Robert Thomas’ ricochet.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) May 8, 2019
On Deck: Beantown
The St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins will throw down for the right to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup playoffs. They played each other twice this season and split the series.
At one juncture this season, bookmakers listed the Blues at 300/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup. Coming into the Stanley Cup playoffs in April, the Blues improve to 15/1 odds to win the Cup.
According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the St. Louis Blues are the new favorite at +125 odds to win the Stanley Cup. The Boston Bruins are +175 to win the NHL title now.