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5 Keys: Blues at Stars, Game 3

St. Louis trying to stay undefeated on road in playoffs, Dallas needs more from Benn, Seguin, Radulov

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / Staff Writer


8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS, SN

Best-of-7 series tied 1-1

The St. Louis Blues will try to remain undefeated on the road during the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they go for a 2-1 series lead against the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round at American Airlines Center on Monday.

The Blues went 3-0 at the Winnipeg Jets in the first round, when the Stars went 2-1 at home against the Nashville Predators.

Teams that win Game 3 in a best-of-7 NHL playoff series that was tied 1-1 have a series record of 213-103 (.674), including 1-3 in the 2019 playoffs.

Here are 5 Keys for Game 3:


[RELATED: Complete Blues vs. Stars series coverage]



1. Line shuffling

Blues coach Craig Berube, in an effort to find an offensive spark, shook up his lines at the morning skate Monday and plans to use the new look in Game 3.

Jaden Schwartz replaced David Perron as the left wing on the first line, with center Ryan O'Reilly and right wing Vladimir Tarasenko. The second line featured Oskar Sundqvist at center after he had played right wing; Brayden Schenn at left wing after he had played center; and Perron at right wing.

The line of Schwartz, O'Reilly and Tarasenko had 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 10 games together during the regular season.

"He's been playing really well," Berube said of Schwartz, who leads the Blues with five goals in the postseason. "He's going to get on the forecheck for those guys … they've played together before too."


2. Defensive Blues

The Blues have allowed six goals in the first two games against the Stars after allowing 16 goals in six games (2.67 per game) in the first round against the Jets. In hope of better defensive play in Game 3, defenseman Robert Bortuzzo will replace Joel Edmundson in the lineup. Edmundson is minus-2 in eight playoff games.

With Stars coach Jim Montgomery having the advantage of the last change now that the series has shifted to Dallas, Berube wants the Blues to tighten up in their zone.

"I'm going to do what my game is meant to do out there, raise the intensity level a bit," Bortuzzo said.


3. Binnington's record pace

Blues goalie Jordan Binnington, who was named a finalist for the Calder Trophy on Saturday, along with Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson, can put himself in elite company in Game 3, when he can tie the NHL record for fewest games played (39) to earn a 30th NHL win (regular season and playoffs combined). Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen set the record with the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 31, 2014.

Binnington has shown the poise of a veteran in the playoffs, especially on the road, where he is 3-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .929 save percentage.


4. Stars need better discipline

Dallas took 12 minor penalties through the first two games and should consider itself fortunate from that standpoint that it left St. Louis with a split.

The Blues power play went 1-for-7 in the first two games, but Montgomery said the Stars are playing with fire if they keep going to the penalty box.

"Our discipline needs to improve," he said. "We were excellent against Nashville (15 times shorthanded in six games in the first round) and we haven't maintained our emotional control as well as we should in this series so far."


5. Stars top forwards need to play like stars

Montgomery called out his top line Sunday, saying he needed more production from Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov.

Through the first two games of the series, Benn, Seguin and Radulov have yet to score as a line at 5-on-5. They did not have a shot on goal between them through the first two periods of a 4-2 victory in Game 2 on Saturday.

"I don't think they are skating and I don't think they are competing at the level that when they are dominating, they usually do," Montgomery said.


Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Alexander Radulov

Jason Dickinson - Roope Hintz -- Mats Zuccarello

Andrew Cogliano -- Radek Faksa -- Blake Comeau

Mattias Janmark -- Justin Dowling -- Jason Spezza

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Miro Heiskanen -- Roman Polak

Taylor Fedun -- Ben Lovejoy

Ben Bishop

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Tyler Pitlick, Valeri Nichushkin, Gavin Bayreuther, Joel Hanley, Brett Ritchie, Landon Bow, Julius Honka

Injured: Jamie Oleksiak (lower body), Marc Methot (lower body), Martin Hanzal (back), Stephen Johns (upper body)


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Brayden Schenn -- Oskar Sundqvist -- David Perron

Pat Maroon -- Tyler Bozak -- Robert Thomas

Robby Fabbri -- Ivan Barbashev -- Alexander Steen

Carl Gunnarsson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Robert Bortuzzo

Scratched: Joel Edmundson, Michael Del Zotto, Sammy Blais, Zach Sanford, Mackenzie MacEachern, Chris Thorburn, Jared Coreau

Injured: None


Status report

The Stars lineup remains the same as Game 2. … Bortuzzo, who replaces Edmundson in the lineup, has 27 games of NHL playoff experience.

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