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Eaves travels with Stars for Game 6

Forward has been out of lineup since injured in Game 1 against Blues; Seguin stays behind

by Steve Hunt / Correspondent

DALLAS -- Forward Patrick Eaves traveled with the Dallas Stars for Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2), but Tyler Seguin did not.

Eaves, who had five points in the first round against the Minnesota Wild, a series the Stars won in six games, hasn't played since Game 1, when he injured his right leg when hit by teammate Stephen Johns' slap shot late in the third period.

Center Jason Spezza, whose 12 points (eight assists) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs are second on the Stars to NHL leader Jamie Benn's 14, has played on a line with Eaves at different points in the regular season and in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"He's been a big part of our team," Spezza said. "I think he goes to the front of the net, he gets in the dirty spots. He can shoot the puck second to none and he's just been a good complement for our line with me and [Mattias Janmark]. I know Patty, and he's a tough guy and he'll play if he thinks he can play."

Seguin, sidelined by an undisclosed injury that has kept him out for all of the playoffs except for Game 2 against the Wild, was scheduled to skate at the Stars practice facility Sunday.

The Blues defeated the Stars 4-1 in Game 5 at American Airlines Center on Saturday to take a 3-2 series lead.

Video: Blues edge Stars, 4-1, grab 3-2 series lead

Dallas coach Lindy Ruff feels the final score was a bit deceiving.

"It's not even close to a 4-1 loss," Ruff said Sunday. "We pretty well played close to our best game, we just didn't finish. Made a couple mistakes where they got a couple great bounces. There's some puck luck in the game, and they had all the puck luck."

Finishing has been a problem through five games against the Blues for the Stars, whose 265 goals led the NHL in the regular season. At this point in the first round against Minnesota, Dallas had scored 16 goals; it has 10 against St. Louis, nine of which have come at even strength.

Benn said the Stars need to get to the net against Blues goalie Brian Elliott in Game 6. Elliott is 7-5 with a 2.20 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in the 2016 postseason.

"[We need to] make life a little bit tougher on him, get a little bit more gritty," Benn said. "Most of the goals are going to be off rebounds than off shots. He's going to make the first save, we know that, he's a good goalie, and it's what we do after that."

Defenseman Johnny Oduya, who won the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015 with the Chicago Blackhawks before signing as a free agent with Dallas on July 15, said the Stars can't worry about anything but their next game.

"Once you get backed into a corner, in brings out the best of you in a lot of ways," Oduya said. "It's always talked about where if you are on the other side, winning that fourth game is the toughest. I think we felt that the last series too. We are looking at winning one game. That's the mindset we have approaching every game in the playoffs, but it becomes even more important now."

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