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5 Keys: Stars at Blues, Game 5

Dallas sticking with revamped lines; St. Louis seeks boost from Edmundson

by Tracey Myers @TraMyers_NHL / Staff Writer


9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, SN360, TVAS

Best-of-7 series tied 2-2

The Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues will each try to take the lead in Game 5 of the best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round at Enterprise Center on Thursday.

The Stars tied the series when they defeated the Blues 4-2 at American Airlines Center on Wednesday. When a best-of-7 series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has an all-time series record of 207-57 (78.4 percent), including 2-2 in the playoffs.


[RELATED: Complete Blues vs. Stars series coverage]


The Blues have an all-time series record of 7-1 when winning Game 5 after being tied 2-2; the Stars are 10-1.

Here are 5 Keys for Game 5:


1. Stars standing pat

Dallas got the results it desired after juggling lines in Game 4; Jason Dickinson and Mats Zuccarello were moved to the first line with center Tyler Seguin, and Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov went to the second line with rookie center Roope Hintz. Those six players combined for nine points (two goals, seven assists).

It's no surprise coach Jim Montgomery will go with those same combinations in Game 5. 


2. Blues tweaking defense

Defenseman Joel Edmundson will enter the lineup and play with Alex Pietrangelo on the Blues' top pair. Edmundson, a healthy scratch the past two games, replaces Robert Bortuzzo

"You sit out a couple games, you get to see the game from a different angle," said Edmundson, who has two assists in the playoffs. "I'm just looking to get back out there and bring the physicality. I'm paired with [Pietrangelo] tonight, so hopefully we'll get in a nice rhythm and we're getting going every other shift."


3. Pietrangelo staying steady

On the topic of St. Louis defensemen, Pietrangelo has been a consistent contributor with nine points (goal, eight assists) 10 postseason games and is the Blues' leading playoff scorer; he has at least one point in four of his past five games. 


4. Finding face-off rhythm

The Stars have been happier with their work on face-offs in the past two games; they won 66 of 129 face-offs in Games 1 and 2 (51.2 percent) before winning 80 of 131 in Games 3 and 4 (61.1 percent).

"Our big focus is always trying to get better within the series and face-offs was a key right from Day One, just because [Blues center Ryan] O'Reilly's so good at it and so is [Tyler] Bozak," Montgomery said. "So if we could tie up and win draws with faceoff intensity -- we look at faceoffs as a five-man unit -- that's a big part of what we've been doing, and we've done a much better job in 3 and 4 than we did in 1 and 2."


5. Keeping their cool

The Blues may have let emotions get the best of them in Game 4; goalie Jordan Binnington, who was called for roughing and slashing, said St. Louis isn't concerned about getting caught up in things in Game 5.

"[Game 4] wasn't going our way, emotions were high, and it's playoff hockey and stuff happens," Binnington said. "You just go from there. It happens. You pick your stuff up -- well, I didn't drop anything -- but you carry on the same way. And that's just what we're going to do tonight."


Stars projected lineup

Jason Dickinson -- Tyler Seguin -- Mats Zuccarello

Jamie Benn -- Roope Hintz -- Alexander Radulov

Andrew Cogliano -- Radek Faksa -- Blake Comeau

Jason Spezza -- Justin Dowling -- Tyler Pitlick

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Miro Heiskanen -- Roman Polak

Taylor Fedun -- Ben Lovejoy

Ben Bishop

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Valeri Nichushkin, Gavin Bayreuther, Brett Ritchie, Dillon Heatherington, Landon Bow, Mattias Janmark

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


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Brayden Schenn -- Oskar Sundqvist -- David Perron

Pat Maroon -- Tyler Bozak -- Robert Thomas

Robby Fabbri -- Ivan Barbashev -- Alexander Steen

Joel Edmundson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Carl Gunnarsson

Jordan Binnington

Jake Allen

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

Injured: None


Status report

Fedun is likely to replace Hanley, who played in Game 4 and is day-to-day; Montgomery said Heatherington and Bayreuther are options. correspondent Louie Korac contributed to this report


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