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Stars-Blues Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars

Sunday, December 29
5:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (19-12-6) opened a five-game homestand with a 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center Friday night. The win ran the Stars’ points streak to five games (4-0-1) and gave them a three-game winning streak at home.

“It was a good win for our team,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “These [games] are very important. We’ve done a pretty good job on the road, and now we’ve got to take care of this schedule with a lot of home games coming up.”

Friday’s game kicked off a stretch that will see the Stars play 13 of 18 games at American Airlines Center. Next up are the Blues, who defeated the Stars 6-1 in St. Louis a little more than a month ago.

“They obviously gave us a pretty good spanking,” said Benn. “We haven’t forgot about it, so we are going to have to come out with a great effort. They are a top team in the league and we are going to have to find a way to keep this thing rolling.”

“When I looked at that game, it really wasn’t a 6-1 game,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “I know the score sheet said 6-1, but we had some good opportunities and they got some bounces early. I thought it was a game where our compete was really good. There were some really good opportunities we missed and we made mistakes that went in our net. At the end of the night, the score looked a lot worse than how the actual game went.”

A few Stars players are battling illness. Defenseman Alex Goligoski and forwards Cody Eakin and Rich Peverley did not practice Saturday.

The Stars assigned RW Colton Sceviour to the Texas Stars of the AHL Saturday.

Injuries: F Alex Chiasson (illness) is questionable. D Sergei Gonchar (concussion-like symptoms), D Trevor Daley (ankle) and D Stephane Robidas (leg) are out.

About the Blues

The Blues (25-7-5) are coming off a 6-5 shootout win over Chicago in St. Louis Saturday night. The Blues overcame 3-1 and 5-3 deficits in the game. They scored two goals in the final four minutes of regulation to get the game to overtime.

“We felt good. We were creating a lot of scoring chances on them and a few obviously didn’t go in,” said Blues forward Patrik Berglund, whose power play goal tied the game with 2:34 remaining. “But we kept the momentum and in the end we got those two goals to get back in the game, and finished it off in the shootout. It was a great two points.”

The win ran the Blues’ points streak to four games (3-0-1) and gave them a 6-1-2 mark over their last nine games.

The Blues placed forward Alexander Steen, who ranks second in the NHL in goal scoring with 24, on injured reserve Saturday. Steen is out due to a concussion.

Former Stars captain Brenden Morrow will play in Dallas for the first time since being traded by the Stars prior to last season’s trade deadline. Morrow, who was dealt to Pittsburgh, signed with the Blues as a free agent in September.

Injuries: F Derek Roy (illness) and F Vladimir Sobotka (upper body) are questionable. F Alex Steen (concussion), F Ryan Reaves (hand) and D Jordan Leopold (finger) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the second of five meetings between the Stars and Blues.

*The Stars are 0-1-0 in the season series and the Blues are 1-0-0.

*November 23, Dallas at St. Louis: Blues 6, Stars 1

Statistical tidbits

*During their five-game points streak, the Stars have outscored their opposition 18-8.

*The Stars have allowed two goals or fewer in five straight games overall and in six of their last seven games at home.

*The Blues have allowed three goals or more in six of their last eight games.

*The Stars are 5-1-2 in their last eight games at home.

*The Blues have points in five straight on the road (3-0-2) and are 6-2-2 in their last ten away from home.

*The Stars are 5-7-3 vs. the Central Division.

*The Blues are 11-0-1 vs. the Central Division.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has three goals in the last four games.

*Stars forward Erik Cole has three goals in the last four games.

*Blues forward Jaden Schwartz has four goals in the last four games.

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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