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Blues host Stars in back end of home-and-home

by John Kreiser

DALLAS (12-8-1) AT ST. LOUIS (12-6-3)

TV -- FS-Southwest (HD), FS-Midwest (HD)

Last 10 -- St. Louis 5-4-1; Dallas 5-4-1

Season series -- This is the third game of four between the two Western Conference clubs this season -- and the second in as many nights. The Stars rallied with two third-period goals for a 3-2 win on Friday. They also beat the Blues 3-2 in a shootout on Oct. 16.

Big story -- The Blues were 20 minutes away from stealing the front end of the home-and-home series at the American Airlines Center, but couldn't close the deal. Eric Johnson's turnover led to a shorthanded goal by Jamie Benn, who then set up Mike Ribeiro for the winner. St. Louis will be glad to be back in the friendly confines of Scottrade Center, where they are 8-0-1.

Team Scope:

Stars -- Mike Ribeiro is better known as a passer than a shooter, but he was the finisher on Friday, converting a pass by Jamie Benn with 3:29 remaining to give the Stars the win.

"He was real good tonight," Dallas coach Marc Crawford said of Ribeiro, who has 3 goals in his last five games, including two game-winners. "It was nice to see him get such a feed from a play that he's usually making to a teammate. It was nice to see that one going in."

Blues -- The Blues had gotten points in every game in which they had led after two periods -- until they paid the price for a sloppy third period in Dallas.

"We made some mistakes," Blues coach Davis Payne said. "Tonight's game was about the 20 minutes in the third period that we needed to be sharper. We made a couple of plays that ended up as turnovers. They weren't the only ones that we turned over in the third. We were guilty of a lot of neutral-zone stuff. Two of them ended in our net."

Who's hot -- McDonald has the Blues' last three goals and 12 points in his past eight games. … Dallas center Brad Richards scored on Friday and has 3 goals and 6 points in his last five games.

Injury report -- Dallas defenseman Mark Fistric was placed on IR with a groin problem sustained on Wednesday. … St. Louis forward T.J. Oshie is on injured reserve with a broken ankle, and defenseman Roman Polak is out with a wrist injury. David Perron is also sidelined with a concussion.

Stat pack -- The Stars hadn't beaten the Blues twice in a season since 2007-08. … Benn's shorthanded goal on Friday was the first of his career. … Dallas forward Loui Eriksson has 9 goals, but hasn't scored in nine games.

Puck drop -- There was a lot of physical play on both sides Friday night, and more of the same is likely in the rematch

"There was a reason why at the end of the period they came after us," Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas said. "When you know you're going to play the same team the next day, they want to send a message."

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