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Stars look to keep gaining ground facing Blues

by John Kreiser

STARS (35-27-11) at BLUES (50-16-7)


Last 10: Dallas 5-4-1; St. Louis 7-2-1

Season series: The Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues are playing for the fourth time; they'll face each other again in Dallas on April 11. The Blues won the first two games before the Stars defeated them 3-2 in overtime at Scottrade Center on March 11.

Big story: The Blues are on top of the NHL standings and battling for the Presidents' Trophy. The Stars are three points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the second wild-card position in the Western Conference after routing the Nashville Predators 7-3 at home Friday.

Team Scope:

Stars: Dallas did a great job sharing the wealth in the victory against Nashville. Seven players had a goal and five players had multiple-point nights. It's the kind of balanced scoring the Stars will need down the stretch in order to end a playoff drought that dates to 2008.

"Obviously, us role guys want to chip in a little bit more," said checking center Vernon Fiddler, who scored the goal that made it 2-0. "It's not easy to score in this League. These are the games where we need to all chip in.

"It's nice to get some depth scoring. At the end of the day, we've got to continue to do that. The big guns need some help with that, and it takes a little bit of pressure off of them."

Blues: St. Louis wiped out the Minnesota Wild 5-1 on Thursday, with T.J. Oshie scoring three goals for the first time in his NHL career, to stay ahead of the Boston Bruins in the race for first place in the overall standings.

Coach Ken Hitchcock said it's important for a contending team to be playing well going into the playoffs, and he's going to make sure that's the case for the Blues.

"I think every player who has experience knows you have to play well and build momentum going in," he said after the win against the Wild. "You can't go into the playoffs searching for your hockey team."

Who's hot: Dallas center Tyler Seguin had an assist Friday to extend his point streak to 11 games (six goals, 12 assists). … Oshie has back-to-back three-point games and leads the Blues with 60 points.

Injury report: Stars forwards Erik Cole (upper body) and Rich Peverley (heart) are out. Peverley had a cardiac procedure last week and won't play again this season. … St. Louis defenseman Jordan Leopold (ankle) and forward Vladimir Tarasenko (hand) are out.

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