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Stars take road game from Blues to gain in race

by Louie Korac

ST. LOUIS -- The Dallas Stars do not hold one of the two Western Conference wild cards into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they are within reach.

Colton Sceviour's first two-goal game in the NHL started a five-game trip off right Saturday: a 4-2 win against the conference-leading St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center.

The Stars (36-27-11) ended a four-game road losing streak, won for the fourth time in five games, and now have 83 points. The Stars are one point behind the Phoenix Coyotes, who lost 3-1 to the Minnesota Wild. Dallas trails Minnesota by four points.

"It's not a must-win situation quite yet, but with the teams ahead of us winning games, we've got to keep pace," Sceviour said. "We were playing a really good team in the second game of a back-to-back with travel and it's huge to come in here and get a victory. It feels real good right now.

"I don't know if desperation is the word. That kind of sounds bad, but definitely we feel like these are games we need to win and we feel like we hold our fate in our own hands and those games mean absolutely nothing unless we win them. This is a start and we want to build off it."

Cody Eakin had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who got a goal from Antoine Roussel and 33 saves from Kari Lehtonen. Shawn Horcoff assisted on Sceviour's goals, and Jordie Benn had two assists.

"This was a huge test for us," Lehtonen said. "One of the best teams in the League and we played [Friday] night (a 7-3 win against the Nashville Predators) and traveled here late and showed up [Saturday] and it was just a huge win. We just need to keep playing well and get some wins."

The Blues (50-17-7) were looking to jump back over the Boston Bruins in the race for the Presidents' Trophy but lost in regulation on home ice for the first time in 11 games (8-1-2).

Boston leads St. Louis by one point (108-107) after a 4-2 win against the Washington Capitals earlier Saturday.

Alexander Steen scored twice for the Blues in his 600th NHL game, and Kevin Shattenkirk had two assists to set a career highs in assists (35) and points (44). Ryan Miller stopped 23 shots and is 9-3-1 for St. Louis since being acquired Feb. 28.

"I thought we were just sloppy. We were sloppy," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I think where we were not very competitive or out of sync was in our own zone. We gave the first goal away twice. We ran around on their third goal. We went chasing hits on their third goal. Fourth goal, we jumped by it twice. That's sloppy.

"I think we got away with it against Minnesota [on Thursday in a 5-1 victory] and we scored, got the lead, but we were doing the same stuff early then. [Dallas] scored on their chances [Saturday]. We had a lot of chances, but we didn't score. They compete. They're in desperation stage, they're competing hard."

The Stars played with the lead for all but 3:53. They converted a Blues turnover into the first goal, Sceviour's first of the game less than four minutes after the opening faceoff.

In an attempt to whip the puck around the boards, Blues forward Steve Ott whiffed. Horcoff passed to Sceviour in the slot and he beat Miller from in tight.

The Stars were being outshot 8-0 in the second period, but Sceviour gave Dallas a 2-0 lead when Horcoff's shot was stopped by Miller but caromed off Sceviour's right leg 7:21 into the period for his seventh of the season. Vernon Fiddler's assist was the 200th NHL point.

The Blues made it 2-1 when Steen redirected Alex Pietrangelo's shot-pass from the high slot over Lehtonen with 5:44 left in the second on the power play.

Eakin restored the Stars' two-goal lead 25 seconds later with a redirection off a Jordie Benn shot from the blue line.

Steen's first two-goal game since Dec. 19 (29 games) made it 3-2 49 seconds into the third period. The Blues' second power-play goal came on a one-timer from the top of the right circle that beat Lehtonen inside the near post.

"I think we came into the third period with the mindset that we were going to turn this around," Steen said.

The Stars had other ideas. They would restore a two-goal lead when a puck skidded past Shattenkirk at the right point and Roussel broke free. He beat Miller upstairs at 7:56.

"We need to score goals," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "The secret to winning on the road is you can't score two goals every night. You've got to be able to support your goaltender and make him feel comfortable and I thought [Friday] we did a good job of that and [Saturday], we got the lead and when they scored we answered right away and that was a big part of the game."

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