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Blues win wild Game 2 on 'tough' penalty, David Backes OT goal

Kari Lehtonen chased after the first period. Jamie Benn completing a Dallas Stars rally to earn overtime. A controversial penalty. A David Backes power-play goal. A series tied.

Yeah, Game 2 between the Stars and the St. Louis Blues was somewhat eventful.

The Blues captured that game on Sunday afternoon, 4-3, after blowing a 3-1 lead they established by scoring three goals on five shots against Lehtonen in the first period. The winner of Game 1, Lehtonen was pulled in favor of Antti Niemi, who stopped the next 12 Blues shots.

“It really wasn’t his night,” said coach Lindy Ruff of his starter.

He only have to stop two shots in the third, as the Stars took the game over and rallied with 13 shots and two goals: Mattias Janmark at 4:35, and then Jamie Benn at 17:24, his fifth of the playoffs.

In overtime, the Blues outshot the Stars, 8-5. But it was the second of two Dallas penalties in overtime that proved costly.

Antoine Roussel attempted to stay onside during an offensive rush, but ended up setting a pick on Jay Bouwmeester. He went to the box for interference. It was his third penalty of the game, having earned a tripping call in the first period that resulted in a goal. As did this one. 

Alex Steen took the initial shot, which Backes leaped over to allow it to hit Niemi. It bounced off the goalie’s pads and he received no defensive support thanks in part to an injury to defenseman Alex Goligoski: Backes easily tucked it home for the 4-3 winner.

“Second one is tough. He was trying to stay onside. It doesn’t matter if I like the call or don’t like the call,” said Ruff. “We thought we were going to get an odd-number rush and they got a couple of hooks on [Radek Faksa] just before, going through the middle of the ice, which I was frustrated with.”

Ruff said, however, that’s just how it goes in the playoffs.

“You can’t use it as a crutch. Can’t use that as an excuse,” he said. 

Game 3 is Tuesday night in St. Louis. 

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Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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