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Stars-Blues Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars

Sunday March 15, 2015
5:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (32-27-10) wrapped up a five-game road trip with a 4-2 win in Washington Friday night. The Stars went 4-1-0 on the trip and are 5-1-0 in their past six games overall.

“I think every game is pretty much a must-win from here on out for us,” Stars captain Jamie Benn said. “I think we're just playing a good team game. Our goalie is playing great, and we've got a lot of guys stepping up at the right time.”

Defenseman John Klingberg, who has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury, took part in an optional practice Saturday and is probable for Sunday.

Sunday’s game kicks off a four-game homestand for the Stars, who are 13-13-8 at American Airlines Center this season, including 2-4-3 in the past nine.

“It’s not a matter of being at home or on the road. It’s the type of game we are playing at home,” said Stars center Shawn Horcoff. “It’s high turnovers and high-risk plays. That’s not the type of hockey that you want to play – especially this time of year - if you want to win games. We’ll talk about it again [Sunday]. Personally, at this time of the year when we need wins, I’d rather be at home than on the road.”

Injuries: D John Klingberg (lower body) is probable. D Trevor Daley (lower body), LW Travis Moen (upper body) and RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) are out.

About the Blues

The Blues (43-20-5) lost to Minnesota 3-1 Saturday night in St. Louis. The Blues outshot Minnesota 42-19, but the Wild scored two goals in a 17-second span late in the third to turn a 1-1 tie into a 3-1 lead.

“We’ve got to score more goals on 42 shots. We didn’t get the job done,” said Blues captain David Backes. “We had a tired team in here (Minnesota played the night before), we got 20 shots in one period, and we let them walk away with two points. It’s pretty disappointing.”

The Blues had a three-game winning streak come to an end with Saturday’s loss.

Jake Allen is expected to start in goal for the Blues on Sunday.

Sunday’s game kicks off a six-game road trip for the St. Louis.

Injuries: F Olli Jokinen (upper body) and D Kevin Shattenkirk (abdominal surgery) are out.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars are 2-0-1 (5 points).

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

*Oct. 28, at Dallas: Blues 4, Stars 3 (OT)

*Dec. 27, at St. Louis: Stars 4, Blues 3

*Feb. 17, at St. Louis: Stars 4, Blues 1

*The Stars are 5-0-2 in their past seven games against St. Louis.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 5-12-7 vs. the Central Division.

*The Blues are 12-9-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars have allowed 28 or fewer shots in eight of their past nine games.

*The Blues have scored one goal on 77 shots over their past two games.

*The Stars are 20-21 on the penalty kill over the past eight games.

*The Blues are 23-24 on the penalty kill over the past eight games.

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 8-1-2 in his past 11 decisions.

*Stars center Vernon Fiddler has scored five goals over the past six games.

*Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has 700 career wins and ranks fourth all-time.

*Stars coach Lindy Ruff has 643 career wins and ranks ninth all-time.

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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