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Morrow faces former team as Blues host Stars

by Adam Kimelman
STARS (11-8-2) at BLUES (15-3-3)


Last 10:
Dallas 6-3-1; St. Louis 7-2-1

Season series: It's the first of five times the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues will meet this season. The Blues won two of their three games last season, including the only one in St. Louis, 2-1 on April 19.

Big story: Two teams playing solid hockey recently will collide at Scottrade Center, but the quality of the teams in the Central Division have made it difficult for anyone to move in the standings.

The Stars have won six of their past eight but only have gone from sixth to fifth in the Central. The Blues are 10-2-1 in their past 13, but remain stuck behind the Chicago Blackhawks for the top spot in the division.

Team Scope:

Brenden Morrow will play in Dallas on Saturday for the first time since he was traded last season. He had spent his first 13 NHL seasons with the Stars, including seven as the team's captain.

"It will be interesting," defenseman Trevor Daley told the Stars' website. "It will be kind of weird to see him. Haven't got to play against that guy before. Just like playing against Steve Ott, it will be special. Morrow was the biggest part of this team ever since I've been here. It's going to be a little different seeing him on the other side."

Morrow had 243 goals and 528 points in 835 games with the Stars.

"It will be my first game against him. I've never played against him," defenseman Stephane Robidas told the team's website. "I know how hard he battles. He's been a great player for this organization. I am sure it is going to be a special game for him. It will be special for us to see our old captain. At the same time we need to be ready because they are a good team. We need to focus on them, not really on Brenden."

Morrow, in his first season with the Blues, has four goals and two assists in 15 games.

Blues: The Blues' 3-2 shootout win against the Boston Bruins was a nice two points in the standings, but there was more significance than a top team in the Western Conference earning an impressive win against a top team in the Eastern Conference.

The win was the 620th in the NHL career of coach Ken Hitchcock, tying him with Bryan Murray for eighth on the all-time list.

Hitchcock's next win will give him sole possession of the No. 8 spot and move him within 27 victories of seventh-place Ron Wilson, who has 648 wins.

The game Saturday also will be the 1,180th Hitchcock has coached in the NHL, which is 12th all-time. If things continue to stay on course for Hitchcock and the Blues, he'll pass the 1,200-game mark on Jan. 7, 2014. Only 10 others have coached at least 1,200 NHL games; Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff, who has coached six more games than Hitchcock, will hit the 1,200-game mark on Dec. 21. Ruff has 582 wins.

Who's hot: Stars center Tyler Seguin had his four-game scoring streak snapped Thursday, during which he had six goals and eight points. … Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak has won two straight games, during which he allowed three goals on 55 shots.

Injury report: Stars forward Ray Whitney, who has missed four games with a groin injury, could return Saturday. … Blues defenseman Jordan Leopold (hand) and forward Patrik Berglund (upper body) are out.

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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