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Round Two: Stars vs. Blues

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Next up for the Dallas Stars – the St. Louis Blues. The Blues advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Monday night with a 3-2 win over Chicago in Game 7 of their first-round series. Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal at 8:31 of the third period, redirecting a pass off the post and whiffing on a rebound before sliding the puck into the net to snap a 2-2 tie. The Blues advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

The Stars, who defeated Minnesota 4-2 in the first round, are in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

The Stars have home-ice advantage, so the first two games will be in Dallas. Game One is Friday night at 7 PM.

The season series goes out the window now that it’s the playoffs, but here’s some background on the five games the two teams played in 2015-16.

The Blues won four of five games against the Stars this season, but three of those wins came in either three-on-three overtime or the shootout, and neither of those will be a factor in the playoffs.

The Stars played on the second night of a back-to-back in four of the meetings, and the Blues played on the second night of a back-to-back in two of the games.

The Stars were 1-1-3 in the five games, and if you throw out the three-on-three OT goals and goals awarded for shootout wins, both teams scored ten goals in regulation during the five games this season. Both teams were 3-18 on the power play in the season series, although one of St. Louis’ power-play goals came on a four-on-three power play in overtime.

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen was 1-0-1 vs. St. Louis this season with a 0.99 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage. Antti Niemi was 0-1-2 against the Blues with a 3.22 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage.

Blues goaltender Brian Elliott was 1-1-0 vs. Dallas in the regular season with a 1.49 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage. Jake Allen was 3-0-0 against the Stars with a 1.93 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage.

Jamie Benn (2 goals, 3 assists) and Alex Goligoski (5 assists) led the Stars in scoring with 5 points in the season series against the Blues.

Kevin Shattenkirk (3 goals, 2 assists) led the Blues in scoring with 5 points in the season series against the Stars.

Here were the results in the season series:

Dec. 12, at St. Louis: Blues, 3, Stars 0

Dec. 26, at St. Louis: Blues 3, Stars 2 (SO)

Dec. 27, at Dallas: Stars 3, Blues 0

Feb. 16, at St. Louis: Blues 2, Stars 1 (OT)

Mar. 12, at Dallas: Blues 5, Stars 4 OT

The Stars and Blues have met 12 times in the playoffs with both teams winning six series. The last time they met was 2001 when the Blues swept the Stars in the second round. The Stars defeated St. Louis in six games in round two of the playoffs in 1999 on their way to the Stanley Cup.

This will be the third time that Stars coach Lindy Ruff and Blues coach Ken Hitchcock have met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In 1999, Hitchcock's Dallas Stars defeated Ruff’s Buffalo Sabres in six games in the Stanley Cup Final.

In 2006, Ruff’s Buffalo Sabres defeated Hitchcock’s Philadelphia Flyers in six games in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

*Stars defenseman Kris Russell played 76 games with St. Louis in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

*Blues forward Steve Ott played 566 games with the Stars from 2002 to 20012.

*Blues coach Ken Hitchcock coached the Stars from 1996 to 2002 and is the franchise leader in coaching wins (277), and playoff coaching wins (47). He was the coach of the Stars 1999 Stanley Cup team.

*Blues GM Doug Armstrong was GM of the Stars from 2002-2007. He was an assistant GM in 1999 when the Stars won the Stanley Cup.

*Blues assistant coach Kirk Muller played for the Stars from 1999-2003 and was part of the Dallas team that went to the 2000 Stanley Cup Final.

*Stars assistant coach Curt Fraser was an assistant coach with St. Louis in 2005-06.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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