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5 things to watch in Game 3 vs. Dallas

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues


When: Monday, April 29 at 7 p.m. CT
Where: American Airlines Center
Watch: NBC Sports Network, NBC Sports App
Listen: Y98 FM, NHL App

Best-of-seven series tied, 1-1

Here are five things to watch as the series shifts to Dallas for Game 3:

1. Success on the road

The St. Louis Blues are 2-3 at Enterprise Center in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but now they're headed back on the road, where they are a perfect 3-0.

"All year it's been like that," said Blues forward Pat Maroon. "I don't know why, I don't know what it is… At home, we wait for them to come at us instead of dictating the play right away. On the road, we try to dictate the play right off the bat and get to our game right away. It's a weird game like that, but we're fully confident going into Dallas right now. Tied 1-1, we're still in a really good spot."

"We feel confident going in there," added Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo. "Another tough building to play in, but again, we feel confident after what we were able to do in that last series."

2. Schwartz has got that swagger back

After struggling on the scoresheet for much of the regular season (posting just 36 points in 69 games played), Jaden Schwartz certainly has it going now.

He scored his first of the playoffs with 15 seconds left in Game 5 to give the Blues a comeback win against Winnipeg, then scored a natural hat trick in Game 6 to propel the Blues to a first-round series victory.

In the third period in Game 2 vs. Dallas, Schwartz redirected a shot from Colton Parayko to pull the Blues to within one goal.

"You can tell he has his swagger back, his confidence back," linemate Brayden Schenn added. "He's making good play with the puck, tight-turning in the corner and finding the open guy, and then when he gets a chance, he's scoring right now. It's a lot of fun to play with him. Hopefully we keep it going here in this series."

Video: Vitale, Kelly preview Game 3 against Dallas

3. Limit their secondary scoring

The Blues have done a great job of keeping the Stars' top line in check, but second-line center Roope Hintz broke through with a three-point performance in Game 2 (two goals, one assist), while fourth-line forwards Mattias Janmark and Jason Spezza have also scored goals in the series.

"They're the ones that were scoring," Pietrangelo said of Dallas' second line on Sunday. "We've done a good job on that top line, but I think we could be a little bit better on that secondary scoring.

"If we can take that away, that's when our depth will really kick in."

4. Blues know they can be better

To a man, the Blues say they can be better in their series against Dallas.

"They haven't seen our best, and that's a good thing," Maroon said. "I think once they see our best, it's going to be a good series."

"Everything that they're getting, we're pretty much giving it to them," Pietrangelo added. "We can be better as far as managing the puck and lessening those opportunities."

Video: Berube before Game 3 in Dallas

5. Another tight game

If you throw out an empty-netter with three seconds left in Game 2, each game has been a one-goal contest.

Jordan Binnington was especially stingy in the third period in both of the games so far, while Ben Bishop was able to stave off a third-period push from the Blues in Game 2.

"It's going to be tight," Blues Head Coach Craig Berube said after Game 2. "Both teams play good defensive hockey, the goalies are playing well. Our power play could have helped us out tonight and it didn't, that could have made the difference in the game."

Video: Series shifts to Dallas, Blues get set for Game 3

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