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Blues try for home-and-home sweep of Stars

by Steve Hunt / NHL.com

BLUES (22-11-4) at STARS (26-7-3)

TV: FS-MW, FS-SW

DALLAS -- Brian Elliott will start in goal for the St. Louis Blues against the Dallas Stars on Sunday at American Airlines Center.

Coach Ken Hitchcock confirmed the move following the 3-2 shootout victory against Dallas on Saturday night at Scottrade Center. David Backes scored the deciding goal in the ninth round, and goalie Jake Allen made 22 saves.

Elliott, who is 5-0 against the Western Conference this season, is starting for the first time since Dec. 19, when he made 36 saves in a 3-2 win against the Calgary Flames in St. Louis.

The Blues are 9-3-0 against the Central Division and 10-5-2 on the road.

Antti Niemi started in net Saturday for Dallas, which has lost twice to the Blues in St. Louis this season. Coach Lindy Ruff was noncommittal afterward as to whether he'd stick with Niemi or start Kari Lehtonen in the second game of the back-to-back.

Here are the projected lineups:

BLUES

Magnus PaajarviPaul StastnyVladimir Tarasenko

Alexander SteenDavid BackesTroy Brouwer

Robby FabbriJori LehteraScottie Upshall

Jordan CaronDmitrij JaskinRyan Reaves

Jay BouwmeesterAlex Pietrangelo

Colton ParaykoKevin Shattenkirk

Carl GunnarssonRobert Bortuzzo

Brian Elliott

Jake Allen

Scratched: Joel Edmundson, Scott Gomez

Injured: Patrik Berglund (shoulder), Kyle Brodziak (undisclosed), Steve Ott (hamstring), Jaden Schwartz (ankle)

STARS

Jamie BennTyler SeguinPatrick Sharp

Valeri Nichushkin - Jason SpezzaAles Hemsky

Antoine RousselCody EakinColton Sceviour

Mattias Janmark - Vernon FiddlerPatrick Eaves

Alex GoligoskiJohn Klingberg

Johnny OduyaJason Demers

Jyrki Jokipakka - Jordie Benn

Antti Niemi

Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Travis Moen, Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak

Injured: None

Status report: Niemi has started both ends of a back-to-back once this season, making 19 saves in a 3-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Dec. 11 and 23 saves in a 3-0 loss at St. Louis on Dec. 12.

Who's hot: Tarasenko is riding a career-long eight-game point streak with six goals and 12 points during that span. … Jamie Benn and Seguin, currently tied for second in the NHL with 47 points, have two points in two games against the Blues this season.

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