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5 Keys: Stars at Blues, Game 2

Dallas must find way to solve Binnington; St. Louis needs to keep opposing top line in check

by Tracey Myers @TraMyers_NHL / Staff Writer


3 p.m. ET; NBC, TVAS, SN

St. Louis leads best-of-7 series 1-0

The St. Louis Blues will try to take a 2-0 series lead when they play the Dallas Stars in Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round at Enterprise Center on Saturday.

Forward Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals, including the game-winner for the Blues in their 3-2 win against the Stars in Game 1.

Here are 5 Keys for Game 2:


1. Getting to Binnington

St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington was outstanding in Game 1, especially in the third period when Dallas was trying to come back from being down two goals. When the Blues needed Binnington to be at his best, he was, allowing one goal on 17 shots in the third period; he finished with 27 saves on 29 shots.


[RELATED: Complete Stars vs. Blues series coverage]


The Stars got more traffic and second-chance scoring opportunities against Binnington in the third period of Game 1, and they're going to need more of that.

"With a team like this and a goalie like that, you're going to need volume of opportunities to score on him," Dallas forward Andrew Cogliano said. "They're not going to give you a lot. You try to create more and more and hopefully the pucks start going in."


2. Containing Stars top line

Jamie Benn scored his second goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at 17:43 of the third period. But otherwise, St. Louis did a pretty good job of keeping Dallas' top line of Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov from doing much damage. Still, the Blues know that line is going to get its opportunities. 

"It's tough," St. Louis center Ryan O'Reilly said. "They're always looking for chances to create offense and I thought we did a decent job at defending against them and [staying] tight to them. We still could do a lot better. We still have to limit our turnovers against them and not really feed that transition part of their game."


3. Kling' of the world 

Defenseman John Klingberg continues to be the steady presence the Stars need. Klingberg, who had the primary assist on forward Jason Spezza's goal in the second period of Game 1, has seven points (one goal, six assists) in seven playoff games and is tied with Benn (two goals, five assists) for the Dallas lead in the playoffs.


4. Be great late

The Blues are 10-3 in one-goal games in the postseason since the beginning of the 2017 playoffs. But they know they can't sit on a lead as much as they did in the third period of Game 1.

"I didn't think we made enough plays," St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. "We've got to be better making plays. Our puck play has to be better all game. They're going to be better next game, we've got to be better."


5. Absolutely Fabb-ulous

When forward Robby Fabbri scored his first goal of the playoffs to give the Blues a 1-0 lead in the first period of Game 1, it also provided an emotional lift for St. Louis; Fabbri has had two surgeries on his left knee since February 2017.

"Everyone was really happy to see him get that one, and obviously [he's a] huge part of our team," Blues forward Tyler Bozak said. "To have a guy like that playing on the fourth line obviously makes your team a lot better."


Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Alexander Radulov

Jason Dickinson - Roope Hintz -- Mats Zuccarello

Andrew Cogliano -- Radek Faksa -- Blake Comeau

Mattias Janmark -- Justin Dowling -- Jason Spezza

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Miro Heiskanen -- Roman Polak

Taylor Fedun -- Ben Lovejoy

Ben Bishop

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Tyler Pitlick, Valeri Nichushkin, Gavin Bayreuther, Joel Hanley, Brett Ritchie, Landon Bow

Injured: Jamie Oleksiak (lower body), Marc Methot (lower body), Martin Hanzal (back), Stephen Johns (upper body)


Blues projected lineup

David Perron -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Oskar Sundqvist

Pat Maroon -- Tyler Bozak -- Robert Thomas

Robby Fabbri -- Ivan Barbashev -- Alexander Steen

Carl Gunnarsson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Joel Edmundson -- Vince Dunn

Jordan Binnington

Jake Allen

Scratched: Robert Bortuzzo, Michael Del Zotto, Sammy Blais, Zach Sanford, Mackenzie MacEachern, Chris Thorburn, Jared Coreau

Injured: None


Status report

The Stars and Blues each held an optional practice Friday with a number of regular skaters taking part. Any potential lineup changes won't be known until warmups. correspondent Louie Korac contributed to this report

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