Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues
Saturday December 27, 2014
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
About the Stars
The Stars (14-14-5) headed into the NHL’s holiday break with a 4-0 loss to Toronto at American Airlines Center on Tuesday. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Stars. Toronto scored the only goal it would need 55 seconds into the game.
“We came out and we were flat. We gave up an odd-man rush off the start, and we're down 1-0. That’s not a good way to start,” said Stars center Vernon Fiddler. “It’s disappointing but at the same time we have to regroup and get ready. We have to take these three days to take a mental and physical break and get back to work in St. Louis.”
The Stars come out of the break eight points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and they have two games in hand on Los Angeles, which currently holds the final wild card spot.
Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (ankle), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.
About the Blues
The Blues (21-10-3) headed into the break with a 5-0 loss at Colorado Tuesday. The loss wrapped up a 0-2-1 road trip for the Blues, who were outscored 14-6 during the three games.
“It's pretty simple,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “It's really what's been going on the last little while. Our goals against have been going through the roof. That's a sign of not checking, not being responsible, not competing on the puck. Way too many goals against, way too many easy scoring chances.
“It falls on everybody; it's all of us. We're just trading chances, and you get games like that, where it's in your net before you blink. Can't win playing like this. We'll see if this is a wake-up call for us.”
The Blues rank third in the Central Division, three points behind first-place Chicago and two points ahead of fourth-place Winnipeg.
Injuries: G Brian Elliott (knee), D Carl Gunnarsson (concussion) and F Jaden Schwartz (foot) are out.
*This is the second of five meetings between the Stars and Blues this season.
*The Blues won the first meeting, defeating the Stars, 4-3, in overtime at American Airlines Center on Oct. 28.
*The Stars are 8-7-0 on the road and have won their last three away from home.
*The Blues are 12-3-1 at home and have points in eight straight at Scottrade Center (7-0-1).
*The Stars are 5-2-0 in their last seven games overall.
*The Blues are 5-2-1 in their last eight games overall.
*The Stars are 0-7-3 vs. the Central Division.
*The Blues are 7-4-0 vs. the Central Division.
*The Stars are 1-12 (8.3 percent) on the power play over the past five games.
*The Blues have allowed eight power play goals over the past five games and are 19-27 (70.4 percent) on the penalty kill during that stretch.
*The Blues are 10-25 (40.0 percent) on the power play over the past eight games.
*The Stars have allowed a power play goal in seven of the last ten games and are 26-34 (76.5 percent) on the penalty kill during that stretch.
*Stars forward Tyler Seguin leads the NHL in goals (25) and ranks second in points (42).
*Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko ranks third in the NHL in goals (20) and is tied for seventh in points (37).
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 DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.