Skip to main content

Headlines

game preview

Stars at Blues preview

Dallas coach Hitchcock can tie for third on all-time wins list; St. Louis tries for 2-0-0 start

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

STARS (0-1-0) at BLUES (1-0-0)

8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-SW, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Coach Ken Hitchcock can reach a milestone by defeating the team that fired him eight months ago when the Dallas Stars play the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. The Stars hired Hitchcock on April 13 after he'd spent six seasons coaching the Blues before being replaced by Mike Yeo on Feb. 1. A win by Dallas would give Hitchcock 782 in his NHL coaching career, tying him with Al Arbour for third on the all-time list.

Goaltender Kari Lehtonen will start for Dallas, which lost 2-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights at home on Friday. Lehtonen allowed both goals after starter Ben Bishop was removed from the game with concussion-like symptoms with 16:02 remaining in the third period after taking a shot in the mask. Bishop skated Saturday morning, but Hitchcock said the plan was for Lehtonen to start the second half of the back-to-back and that Bishop, who cleared concussion protocol, will dress as his backup.

The Blues will play their home opener. They began their season by defeating the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4 in overtime on Wednesday.

 

Players to watch

Stars captain Jamie Benn's next assist will be the 300th of his NHL career. Benn has 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 30 games against St. Louis.

Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo scored twice against the Penguins, including the game-winner in overtime. It was the first time he scored two goals in a game since Feb. 12, 2012, against the San Jose Sharks.

 

They said it

"We've got to find a way to grow our game. We've got to get more players playing better. If we can do that, we'll be in good shape. We had some players that really played well but we need more players to play better and that's an important challenge for us." -- Hitchcock

"I don't think that we'll be sitting down and having coffee with each other. I'm still incredibly grateful and appreciative of my time with [Hitchcock]. I learned a lot from him and I really enjoyed working with him. He's going to want to beat us, and we're going to want to beat his team. We've got to make sure we're ready to go." -- Yeo, an assistant under Hitchcock, on facing his former boss

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Alexander Radulov

Mattias Janmark -- Jason Spezza -- Brett Ritchie

Devin Shore -- Martin Hanzal -- Tyler Pitlick

Antoine Roussel -- Radek Faksa -- Adam Cracknell

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Marc Methot -- Jamie Oleksiak

Dan Hamhuis -- Stephen Johns

Kari Lehtonen

Ben Bishop

Scratched: Gemel Smith, Greg Pateryn, Julius Honka

Injured: None

 

Blues projected lineup

Vladimir Sobotka -- Paul Stastny -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Dmitrij Jaskin

Magnus Paajarvi -- Oskar Sundqvist -- Tage Thompson

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Chris Thorburn

Joel Edmundson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Nate Prosser, Ivan Barbashev, Wade Megan

Injured: Alexander Steen (hand), Jay Bouwmeester (ankle)

 

Status report

Cracknell, who played 39 games with St. Louis in 2012-14, will make his season debut Saturday replacing Smith, who was minus-1 on Friday.

 

Stat pack

Lehtonen is 13-6-3 with a 2.18 goals-against average, .921 save percentage and three shutouts in his career against St. Louis. … Five Blues (Pietrangelo, Schwartz, Schenn, Stastny and Sobotka) each had two points against the Penguins in the season opener.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.