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Instant analysis: Stars at Blues, Game 3

St. Louis takes advantage of Dallas goaltending, builds 2-1 series lead

by Amalie Benjamin @amaliebenjamin / Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- After one-goal games in the first two of this Western Conference Second Round series, the St. Louis Blues defeated the Dallas Stars 6-1 in Game 3 at Scottrade Center on Tuesday, taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

The Blues got two goals from Alexander Steen and David Backes, and one each Troy Brouwer and Vladimir Tarasenko, while not allowing the Stars to score after a goal by Colton Sceviour at 4:44 of the first period.

What we learned: Dallas has problems in net. After Kari Lehtonen gave up three goals on five shots in the first period of Game 2, coach Lindy Ruff opted to pull him for Antti Niemi. Ruff went back to Niemi to start Game 3, but he gave up three goals on 12 shots in 22:34 before being pulled for Lehtonen, who promptly gave up a goal. It's not just the goaltending, it's the Dallas defense, but it's an issue going forward.

What this means for the Stars: They need to figure out where they're going, and fast. They have another game at Scottrade Center before heading home and need to turn things around. It's time for a short memory.

What this means for the Blues: They're in the driver's seat. They're up 2-1 and looked vastly better than the Stars did in Game 3. They're getting outstanding production from Brouwer, who had a goal and an assist, including stellar work beating Kris Russell to the net for the score.

Video: DAL@STL, Gm3: Steen fires puck past Niemi top-shelf

Key moment: Just as in Game 2, the Stars scored first. But, as in Game 2, the Blues answered quickly. Less than a minute later, they had tied the score with a goal from Steen. That allowed St. Louis to come out of the first period with a one-goal lead.

Unsung player of the game: St. Louis forward Patrik Berglund had the primary assist on the Blues' fourth goal. He was around the net, his shot on goal had Lehtonen looking behind him as he saved it, and he provided steady play. For someone who hasn't always been a favorite in St. Louis, Berglund has had a good recent stretch.

What's next: Game 4 is here Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports). The momentum is definitely with St. Louis after winning Games 2 and 3.

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