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Stars-Blues Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Saturday, December 12

7:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (22-5-2) won 3-1 over Philadelphia Friday at American Airlines Center. The Stars, who were coming off a sloppy 6-5 win over Carolina on Tuesday, dominated Friday’s game, outshooting the Flyers 44-20 and registering an 86-46 advantage in attempted shots.

"I thought we played maybe our best all-around game when it comes to puck movement and playing in their own end. I thought we did a lot of great things in the game,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “I thought that group did a tremendous job on focusing and playing the game we needed to play. That game was 2-1, and I felt we needed to win it 2-1. It was going to stay that close. We’ve been a lot better team in a tight game like that.”

The Stars extended their points streak to seven games (5-0-2) and improved to 10-1-2 in their past 13 games.

Injuries: None

The Blues (16-9-4) lost 4-2 to Philadelphia in St. Louis Thursday. The Blues grabbed a 1-0 lead early in the second period, but the Flyers scored three straight goals to take control of the game.

“We stopped checking,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Stopped checking, opened up gaps, had some soft plays in the scoring areas against us. That gave them the three goals.

“It’s the common denominator for four of the last six games. This is a league, the more you check, the more you have the puck. The more you stay on the hunt, the more you play on your toes. ... When you’re inconsistent on that level, you open it up. So this has been an ongoing theme for a little while, and we’ve got to get it solved.”

The Blues lost for the fourth time in the last five games (1-3-1). Since opening the season 11-3-1, the Blues are 5-6-3 in their past 14 games.

Injuries: F Steve Ott (hamstring) and F Jaden Schwartz (ankle) are out.

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

*The Stars were 2-2-1 (5 points) vs. St. Louis last season.

*The Blues were 3-2-0 (6 points) vs. Dallas last season.

*The Stars are 9-1-2 vs. the Western Conference, including 3-1-0 against the Central Division.

*The Blues are 11-3-0 vs. the Western Conference, including 5-2-0 against the Central Division.

*The Stars have points in nine straight road games (7-0-2) and are 11-2-2 away from home this season.

*The Blues have lost three of their past four games at home and are 8-5-2 at home this season.

*The Stars are 2-0-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

*The Stars lead the NHL in goal scoring at 3.48 goals per game.

*The Stars have scored three goals or more in 23 of their 29 games.

*The Blues rank 20th in the league in scoring at 2.52 per game.

*The Blues have scored two goals or fewer in four of their past five games and in 15 of their 29 games this season.

*The Blues’ penalty kill is second in the NHL at 87.0 percent.

*The Stars’ power play ranks second in the NHL at 23.9 percent.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn leads the NHL with 20 goals.

*Benn and Stars center Tyler Seguin are tied for second in the NHL in scoring with 40 points.

*Forward Vladimir Tarasenko leads the Blues in goals (16) and points (27).

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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