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Stars-Blues Game 3 Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Tuesday, May 3

8:30 p.m.

TV: NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

After losing Game 2 in overtime on Sunday, the Stars will now head to St. Louis for the next two games of the series, which is tied 1-1. So far, the series is playing out pretty much as Stars coach Lindy Ruff expected.

“It’s exactly what I expected,” Ruff said. “They’re a real good team. They don’t give up a lot of chances. We created a few extra in Game 1. I thought the chances were kept real low by both teams in [Sunday’s] game. The game kind of unfolded like a regular-season game where they ended up winning it on special teams. Their special teams were better than ours, and that’s something that I have to fix going forward.”

With St. Louis earning a split in the first two games in Dallas, the Stars will now need to win on the road to regain home-ice advantage in the series.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed with the outcome last night. Just didn’t get the job done,” said Stars center Vernon Fiddler. “It’s best-of-five now and we’re heading on the road, so you want to try to get the first game, and that’s all we’re worried about right now. … You have to win road games to win series, and that’s something we’re going to have to accomplish.”

Ruff said he is considering putting either Curtis McKenzie or Brett Ritchie into the lineup. The two forwards were recalled from the AHL after the Texas Stars were eliminated from the playoffs over the weekend.

Injured Stars forwards Tyler Seguin (lower body) and Patrick Eaves (leg) both skated before Monday’s optional practice in Frisco, but neither was expected to travel with the team to St. Louis.

Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (leg) and C Tyler Seguin (lower body) are out.

Sunday’s overtime win was big for St. Louis, which avoided a 2-0 deficit in the series and headed back home with a 1-1 tie in the series.

“It's 1-1 so we don't need to consider the 2-0 (deficit),” said Blues forward Alexander Steen. “We got the split, come home to our barn and our fans and our atmosphere. We're looking forward to it.”

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock is hoping for a big boost from the hometown fans in St. Louis. The Blues were 2-2 at home in the first round series against Chicago, winning Game 1 and Game 7 at Scottrade Center.

“What we're going to get is the same thing we got in the Chicago series. People are going to be ready to go. They're ready to watch hockey; they're ready to cheer. I think they feel they can help us. We need them,” Hitchcock said. “Everybody talks about a building being electric but what the building is for us is energetic. They're ready to go. They're in the stands for warm-ups, whatever time the puck drops tomorrow they'll be ready to go more than ever.”

The Blues practiced Monday in St. Louis and also discussed Sunday’s game in which they blew a two-goal lead in the third period, allowing the Stars to tie the game and force overtime.

“We sat back. That's been our issue a few times in Chicago too,” Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “We're at our best when we're attacking; we're at our best when we're playing in their zone. Let our foot off the gas a bit so we addressed it today and can't let it happen again.”

Hitchcock said forward Ryan Reaves, who replaced Steve Ott on the fourth line in Game 2, will remain in the lineup.

Injuries: None

*The Stars are 2-1 on the road in this year’s playoffs.

*The Blues are 2-2 at home in this year’s playoffs.

*The Blues were 3-0 at home vs. the Stars in the regular season, winning one in regulation, one in three-on-three overtime and one in a shootout.

*The Stars are 0-7 on the power play in the first two games of the series.

*The Blues are 2-7 on the power play in the first two games of the series.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has registered points in 13 of his 15 career NHL playoff games (9 goals, 8 assists, 17 points).

*Through Sunday, Benn led the NHL playoffs in scoring with 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) in 8 games.

*Blues forward Troy Brouwer has registered 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) over his past 4 games.

Game 1 – Apr. 29: Stars 2, Blues 1

Game 2 – May 1: Blues 4, Stars 3 (OT)

Game 3 – May 3: Dallas at St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.

Game 4 – May 5: Dallas at St. Louis, 7:00 p.m.

Game 5 – May 7: St. Louis at Dallas, Noon

*Game 6 – May 9: Dallas at St. Louis, TBD

*Game 7 – May 11: St. Louis at Dallas, TBD

*If necessary

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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