Joe Pavelski tied it with 31.4 seconds left in the third period, Anton Khudobin stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout and the Dallas Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in round-robin play Sunday to clinch the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
After Denis Gurianov scored the only goal of the shootout, Dallas will face the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs. The Stars have some momentum going into that best-of-seven series after picking up their first win of any kind since Feb. 25.
Defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis went winless in the round robin and will next face the Vancouver Canucks. The Blues dropped from first in the West when the NHL season was halted in March to the conference’s fourth seed.
Khudobin made 12 saves in regulation and overtime for the Stars, who were without top centre Tyler Seguin and starting goaltender Ben Bishop. The team said they were “unfit to play.”
Blues backup Jake Allen stopped 18 of the 19 shots he faced in his first action of the NHL’s restart. Starter Jordan Binnington did not dress. Robert Thomas scored on the first shot of the game, and the Blues didn’t have another goal the rest of the way.
The two teams that played in the 2019 Cup Final, the Blues and Boston Bruins, each went 0-3 in round-robin play to go from first to fourth.
“They’re a defending Stanley Cup champion, had a good regular season,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said of the Blues. “Is the mental edge there for them yet, or is it because they’re a bigger, heavier team it takes them a while to sort of wear teams down?”