DALLAS -- David Perron had two second-period goals -- part of three unanswered in the second period -- and added an assist to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-3 win against the Dallas Stars before 17,131 at American Airlines Center on Saturday night.
The Blues struck first when recently-signed Wade Redden blistered a slapper from the blue line past Stars rookie goaltender Christopher Nilstorp at 5:31 of the opening period to give the visitors an early 1-0 lead. Nilstorp was screened and never saw the blast from Redden, who found the back of the net for the first time since March 2010, when he was with the New York Rangers.
Nilstorp stopped 25 of 29 shots in just his second NHL start before leaving with an apparent injury in the third and fell to 0-2-,0 while Jaroslav Halak stopped 20 of 23 shots he faced and improved to 3-0-0 on the season. Kari Lehtonen stopped all three shots he faced in relief of Nilstorp.
Dallas tied things up just 26 seconds after Redden’s tally, getting a goal from Tomas Vincour. After Eric Nystrom dug the puck out from behind the Blues net, he flipped a pass to Vernon Fiddler, who quickly spotted Vincour (making his season debut for the Stars) inside the right faceoff circle. Vincour’s initial shot was denied by Halak, but Vincour put home the ensuing rebound to make it 1-1.
Vincour had 10 points in 47 games for the Stars last season, but started the year with Texas of the American Hockey League before being recalled last Thursday. He had 19 points in 39 games in the AHL prior to being recalled.
Stars wing Ray Whitney drew the first penalty of the night when he forced an out of position Vladimir Tarasenko to trip him near the St. Louis blue line at 11:30 of the opening period. Dallas nearly made the Blues pay just 44 seconds into the man advantage, but a wrister by Michael Ryder from the left side was denied by Halak.
However, Ryder wouldn’t be denied on his next opportunity, which came after a blast by Alex Goligoski from the blue line struck Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who was standing in front of his own net. Ryder collected the carom and beat Halak via the backhand for the 200th goal of his career at 12:40.
With two-thirds of his first line missing -- Jaromir Jagr (back) and Derek Roy (groin) sat out Saturday’s game -- Stars coach Glen Gulutzan moved Tom Wandell up top center his top group with rookie Reilly Smith filling in for Jagr on the left wing.
Gulutzan also dropped captain Brenden Morrow from the third to the fourth line to create space for Vincour on the third line. Colton Sceviour, who was recalled from the AHL on Saturday morning, centered the fourth line alongside Ryan Garbutt and Morrow.
After Dallas headed to the first intermission with a 2-1 lead, the Blues erupted for three unanswered goals in the second to lead 4-2 after two periods. Perron’s notched his first of the season for the visitors at 10:51 of the second, a wrister that beat Nilstorp to his left after Perron skated around three Dallas players made it 2-2.
However, Dallas pulled one back 2:24 into the third, when Ryan Garbutt beat Elliott with a wrist shot after Morrow fed Garbutt from behind the St. Louis net. Sceviour was credited with the secondary assist, the first of his career.
Lehtonen, who entered the game with 7:41 to go, left the ice with 1:38 remaining and Whitney nearly tied it up with 1:03 left in regulation but his wrister careened off the crossbar and away from danger. Not even a late penalty to St. Louis’ Barret Jackman with 14 seconds left was enough for Dallas to muster any additional chances.