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Blues top Stars 4-3 in shootout

by John Kreiser /

Dallas, the king of the shootout in the first season of the breakaway competition, has lost its touch. The Stars fell to 1-5 when Brad Boyes scored in the second round and Ty Conklin guessed right and foiled Stephane Robidas to close out a 4-3 victory on Wednesday night.

"I kind of guessed he was going to shoot low," Conklin said after the Blues improved to 3-1 in their last four after sinking to the bottom of the Central Division. "This game was pretty important for the position we're in."

Brad Richards scored for Dallas in the first round, but Andy McDonald countered for St. Louis. Dallas' Mike Ribeiro hit the goal post with his second-round attempt, and Boyes scored through Marty Turco's pads to give the Blues the edge before Conklin's save.

The Stars were a League-best 12-1 in shootouts in 2005-06, the first season they were used to decide games tied after overtime. The magic is gone.

"It's a big part of the game and we do put emphasis on it in practice," forward James Neal said after returning from a two-game league suspension. "We've got to bear down and find a way to win that extra point. It's so big."

Robidas and Toby Petersen twice gave Dallas the lead in the first period, but the Blues pulled even each time on goals by Eric Johnson and David Backes. T.J. Oshie's goal with 9:00 remaining in regulation put the Blues in front for the first time, but Brenden Morrow beat Conklin with 25.4 seconds left and Marty Turco on the bench for a sixth attacker.

"It was a sloppy game. We started out doing what we wanted to do, but for some reason we decided not to do it anymore," Richards said. "That's not how we wanted to play. We started turning pucks over and not doing what we did in the first 10 minutes. We weren't going to keep them to zero shots for the whole game."

Johnson's goal came on the power play, snapping St. Louis' 0-for-19 drought with the man advantage. The Blues started the night last in the league on the power play at over 12 percent.

"Our power play hasn't been clicking lately but the attitude tonight was to work hard and get the pucks and play with a 5-on-5 mentality," Oshie said.

Before the game, the Stars honored team executive and former player Brett Hull, one of the newest members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Team owner Tom Hicks announced that Hull, who walked onto the ice holding the Stanley Cup, will become the first member of the Stars Walk of Legends. Hull played for the Blues from 1987-98 before signing as a free agent with the Stars, helping Dallas win the 1999 Cup.

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report

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