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Stars-Blues Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues
Saturday, January 7
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (16-15-8) are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to Montreal on Wednesday. Dallas defenseman Esa Lindell scored late to tie the game, but Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty scored 19 seconds into overtime to hand the Stars their second straight loss. The Stars fell to 2-8 in three-on-three overtime this season.

"It was nice coming back with a goal again and going into overtime, but that's the part where we have to get a lot better. We have lost a lot of points in overtime this year," said Stars defenseman John Klingberg.

The Stars ended a three-game homestand with a 1-1-1 record, and they went 5-2-2 during a nine-game stretch where they played eight games at home.

Stars captain Jamie Benn (foot) skated on his own Friday. He will travel with the team but is out Saturday and is not expected to play Monday (at Los Angeles) or Tuesday (at Anaheim).

The Stars sent defenseman Patrik Nemeth to Texas (AHL) on a conditioning assignment. Nemeth has been a scratch in 16 of the past 19 games.

Saturday's game kicks off a three-game road trip for the Stars.

Injuries: LW Jamie Benn (foot), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

About the Blues

The Blues (20-14-5) lost 4-2 to Carolina at Scottrade Center Thursday. The Blues, who were coming off a 4-1 win over Chicago in Monday's Winter Classic at Busch Stadium, came out flat against the Hurricanes.

"I thought that was our worst game of the year," Blues goaltender Jake Allen told media. "I don't know what you guys saw, but from everyone, we need to look at ourselves in the mirror after that game. Unfocused, [didn't execute], and just didn't play our game at all."

Allen, who is awaiting the birth of his first child, is questionable Saturday.

The Blues have not won consecutive games since winning three straight from Nov. 26 - Dec. 1 and are 5-7-1 in their past 13 games.

Saturdays' game is the fifth of six straight home games for the Blues.

Injuries: G Jake Allen (personal) is questionable. D Carl Gunnarsson (lower body) is day to day. D Robert Bortuzzo (lower body) is on injured reserve.

Season Series

*This is the fourth and final meeting between the Stars and Blues this season.

*The Stars are 1-0-2 (4 points) vs. St. Louis.

*The Blues are 2-1-0 (4 points) vs. Dallas.

*The Stars are 0-1-3 in their past four regular-season games in St. Louis.  

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars are 5-9-4 on the road.

*The Blues are 15-4-4 at home.

*The Stars are 8-7-3 vs. the Central Division.

*The Blues are 8-6-2 vs. the Central Division.

*The Blues have allowed four goals or more in five of their past ten games.

*The Stars have scored two goals or fewer in five of their past nine road games.

*The Stars rank seventh in the NHL in five-on-five save percentage at .934.

*The Blues rank 27th in five-on-five save percentage at .909.

*Stars forward Tyler Seguin is on a five-game points streak (four goals, three assists).

*Seguin is tied for sixth in the NHL in scoring with 39 points (14 goals, 25 assists).

*Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko is tied for third in scoring with 42 points (19 goals, 23 assists). 

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com 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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