The last time the Dallas Stars played, they had their highest-scoring game in more than two years. The St. Louis Blues are having trouble remembering what it's like to score.
Dallas looks to snap a three-game skid against St. Louis when the teams meet for the first time this season on Saturday night at the American Airlines Center.
The Stars (22-12-4), who have a three-point lead over second-place San Jose in the Pacific Division, have been limited to five goals during their skid against St. Louis. But they enter this game having won three straight and seven of eight overall, and are coming off an 8-3 rout of Minnesota on Wednesday.
Brenden Morrow had two goals and an assist and Mike Ribeiro scored his 20th goal as Dallas recorded its biggest offensive output since beating Chicago 9-1 in November 2005.
"Games like that don't happen very often," said Ribeiro, who matched his career high for goals in a season and also had two assists. "It's nice to get a full, all-around effort."
Ribeiro has been the main reason behind the Stars' surge to the top of the Pacific, as he leads the team with 10 goals and 19 points in 12 games this month. He had only one goal and three assists versus the Blues last season, but posted all of those points in Dallas.
The Stars also have gotten strong defense from goaltender Marty Turco, who's given up only 15 goals en route to a 6-1-0 record since Dec. 10. He had six wins, a tie, and a 1.12 goals-against average in seven career home starts versus the Blues before giving up three tallies in a 4-2 loss on April 2.
On Friday, the Stars rewarded coach Dave Tippett with a one-year contract extension through the 2008-09 season. Tippett has the best record among active coaches at 212-109-45 in five seasons, and has guided Dallas to two 50-win seasons.
St Louis (18-14-3), which is starting a two-game road swing to close out 2007, needs to rediscover its scoring touch. The Blues were shut out at home for the second straight game Friday, falling 1-0 to the Sharks.
The Blues haven't scored since Sunday, when Keith Tkachuk notched a power-play goal early in the third period of a 3-2 overtime loss to Atlanta. St. Louis, which was blanked at home on Wednesday by the league-leading Red Wings, has failed to the find the back of the net in its last 134 minutes, 31 seconds.
"We had chances. You've got to bear down. This is the NHL here. We've got to start scoring," said the Blues' Brad Boyes, whose 21 goals lead the team. The Blues are 4-1-1 on the road this season when he scores.
Paul Kariya hasn't scored a goal in a season-high nine straight games, but continues to lead St. Louis with 23 assists and 31 points. Playing for Nashville last season, Kariya failed to register a point in the four-game season series against Dallas.
St. Louis has alternated wins and losses in its last four road games en route to a 7-7-1 record away from home. The Blues wrap up their trip Monday with their third meeting against Detroit in 11 days.