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Stars-Blues Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues

Saturday March 29
7:00 p.m.
TV: TXA-21
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (35-27-11) defeated Nashville, 7-3, Friday night at American Airlines Center. Seven different players scored goals and 13 players registered points in the game for Dallas, which took a 2-0 lead in the first period and never looked back.

“I think we just capitalized on our chances and it’s always good when that happens,” said Stars defenseman Trevor Daley. “In order to put up seven against a team like this when they are coming off a big win last night, we knew we had to jump on them quickly and try to put them away early.”

The win pulled the Stars to within three points of Phoenix for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference and within four of Minnesota for the first wild card spot. The Stars have one game in hand on both the Coyotes and Wild, who play in Phoenix Saturday night.

"We’ve had a couple of games in our pocket going into tonight. I said yesterday that we’re just going to worry about playing one game at a time and not look any further than that,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We got the game we wanted [tonight] and now we have to go out and get the game tomorrow. We played a good game in St. Louis last time. We need to score and St. Louis doesn’t give up a lot but if you can get two or three you can get yourself in a ballgame with them, although they’ve really been on a run here lately."

Saturday’s game kicks off a stretch of five straight on the road for the Stars.

Injuries: F Erik Cole (upper body) and F Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat) are out.

About the Blues

The Blues (50-16-7) defeated Minnesota, 5-1, in St. Louis Thursday to run their winning streak to three games. T.J. Oshie scored three goals for St. Louis, which is one point ahead of Boston for the best record in the league and the Presidents’ Trophy.

“We want to make a statement around the league that we deserve to be where we’re at,” Oshie said. “We want the target on our back and we want that trophy.”

The Blues are 6-2-0 over their last eight games and 11-2-1 over the last 14.

Saturday’s game is the second of a five-game homestand for the Blues, who are 26-5-4 at home this season.

Injuries: F Vladimir Tarasenko (hand) and D Jordan Leopold (ankle) are out.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars are 1-1-1 in the season series.

*The Blues are 2-0-1 in the series.

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

*Dec. 29, St. Louis at Dallas: Blues 3 Stars 2 (OT)

*Mar. 11, Dallas at St. Louis: Stars 3, Blues 2 (OT)

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars have lost four straight on the road and are 1-5-1 away from home since the Olympic break.

*The Stars have been outscored 20-7 in their last four road games.

*The Blues are 8-0-2 in their last 10 at home. One of those OT losses was to Dallas on March 11.

*The Blues rank in the top five in several key statistical categories. They are fourth in goal scoring (3.15), third in goals against (2.20), fifth on the power play (20.5 percent), second on the penalty kill (82.9 percent) and second in shots against (26.3).

*The Stars are 8-6-1 since the Olympic break.

*The Blues are 11-4-1 since the break.

*The Blues are 21-1-2 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 10-11-5 vs. the Central Division.

*Stars forward Ryan Garbutt has scored three goals in the last two games.

*Stars center Tyler Seguin is on an 11-game points streak (7 goals, 11 assists, 18 points).

*The St. Louis line of Alexander Steen, David Backes and T.J. Oshie has combined for 15 points (8 goals, 7 assists) in the last two 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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