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Speed of Stars catches up to Blues in Game 1

Dallas scores rebound goals to defeat St. Louis in second-round opener

by Steve Hunt / Correspondent

DALLAS -- The St. Louis Blues have to figure out how to slow down the Dallas Stars in a hurry.

The Stars' speed was on display Friday at American Airlines Center in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round, and Radek Faksa was the beneficiary, scoring the tiebreaking goal with 4:44 remaining to defeat the Blues 2-1.

"Look, they're the No. 1 scoring team in the League for a reason," Hitchcock said. "They've got great speed, but we don't have to feed it all the time, and that's what we did too much today."

Game 2 of the best-of-7 is here on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports), and Hitchcock said if the Blues adhere to a simple formula, one that doesn't yield 42 shots on goal, they will be in good position to tie the series.

Video: STL@DAL, Gm1: Faksa jams home rebound for the lead

"We're not going to beat anybody giving up 40 shots on goal, and we're not going to beat anybody giving up the scoring chances we did today, so we've got some areas that we got to clean up," Hitchcock said.

St. Louis defeated Dallas in four of five games during the regular season and limited high-quality scoring chances by keeping the shot totals down. The Blues' victories were impressive considering the Stars led the NHL in goals.

However, the Blues did exactly the opposite in Game 1.

"We just fed too many pucks in the wrong places and they just dialed up their transition because of it," Hitchcock said. "We didn't play the right way. We did the things we need to do to win, [but made] too many plays that fall right into what they do well in the middle part of the game, way too many."

Antoine Roussel scored for Dallas in the second period, and Faksa in the third, off rebounds in transition against goalie Brian Elliott.

"Neutral-zone play, neutral-zone checking, not picking up people, [we] got skated by," Hitchcock said.

Video: STL@DAL, Gm1: Roussel nets rebound to open scoring

Blues captain David Backes said they'll respond with a much better effort in Game 2.

"We've got to regroup and find our game and play for a full 60 [minutes] the way we did in the first series (against the Chicago Blackhawks) and we'll be just fine," Backes said. "It's going to be another long, tight, hard-hitting, physical, fun matchup, but we've got to get to our game with everybody sooner and for longer and then we'll tip the odds better in our favor."

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