DALLAS - Everyone in the Blues locker room would probably admit - and some of them have - that Game 1 wasn’t their A-game.
“We didn’t play our best. We didn’t play our game,” defenseman Carl Gunnarsson said. “We rolled along with what they did and they got to dictate too much. I don’t know what caused that. But now we’re looking forward. Leave all the bad stuff behind and off we go.”
“I think we’ve got to be more ready from the get-go,” forward Paul Stastny said. “We might have had a lull there a little bit… but Game 1 happened and didn’t go the way we wanted it to go. Now we’ve got to turn the page and get ready for Game 2.”
Perhaps the Blues were so emotionally invested in their first-round series against Chicago that Game 1 of a new series didn’t seem all that urgent - that it didn’t require the same amount of effort or detail.
But trailing 1-0 in the best-of-7 series, Game 2 certainly will require more.
The Blues will get a chance to even the series today at 2 p.m. when they meet the Stars at American Airlines Center (NBC, Y98 FM).
And here’s the silver lining:
“Even though we didn’t play well, we were still in it,” Gunnarsson said of Game 1. “We tied it up and had our chances at the end, too. I think everyone is confident that when we get our game back here, we’re going to be in good shape.”
“There’s a realization that this is a better team than anybody we’ve played,” Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We’re going to have to better than we were against Chicago if we expect to win. I think everybody’s realized that and we’ve got to get our work boots on.
“It’s a very deep hockey club across the way, and we’re going to have to have a bigger commitment than we had before.”
Because of the early start time, the Blues are not holding a morning skate today.
Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock wouldn’t say if he was making any lineup changes, but Ryan Reaves did skate with the fourth line on Saturday. If he is in the lineup, he will likely replace Steve Ott.
Below are the projected lines:
Jaden Schwartz - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexander Steen - Paul Stastny - Troy Brouwer
Robby Fabbri - David Backes - Patrik Berglund
Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Steve Ott / Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Joel Edmundson - Kevin Shattenkirk
Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko
Ballpark Village and HotShots in Arnold (131 Arnold Crossroads Ctr, Arnold, MO 63010) are the sites of our Blues Bashes for Game 2. Enjoy the game with other diehard Blues fans, take advantage of food and drink specials and have a chance to win prizes.
Brian Elliott’s 40 saves in Game 1 were the second-most he’s made in a playoff game. His best was Game 3 against Chicago in the first round, where he turned aside 44 shots from the Blackhawks.
The Blues have won seven of their last nine road games (regular season and postseason) and 15 of 20 dating back to the All-Star break.
Alex Pietrangelo is averaging 29 minutes and 56 seconds of ice-time in the playoffs, the most of any player remaining in the postseason.