Stars-Blues Preview

St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars
Saturday January 26
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (2-1-1) are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to Chicago at American Airlines Center on Thursday. The Stars, despite a wide shots disadvantage in the game, had a 2-0 lead in the second period, but Chicago rallied with three power play goals including the game-winner by Marian Hossa in overtime.

“Systematically there wasn’t much wrong,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “If you lose one-on-one battles all night then you are going to be on the wrong end of things, and if you turn the puck over all night you are going to be on the wrong end of things. That’s what we did.”

The Blackhawks ended up with a 41-23 shots advantage on the night. It was the third time this season the Stars had given up 40 or more shots in a game.

Cristopher Nilstorp will get the start in goal Saturday.

Aaron Rome, who missed the first four games with a groin injury, will play his first game of the season.

Center Jamie Benn, who has signed a five-year, $26.25 million contract with the team, is not expected to play. He still has some immigration issues to resolve before he can suit up for the Stars.

Injuries: RW Jaromir Jagr (back/hip) is day-to-day.

About the Blues

The Blues (3-1-0) defeated Nashville, 3-0, in St. Louis on Thursday. The Blues are 2-0-0 at home this season with both victories coming via a shutout. Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak faced just 13 shots in Thursday’s win.

“Last year we talked about putting work ahead of skill, and that took some convincing,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “If you look back on it, we won against Chicago and Detroit with that attitude, and I think it just reinforced the way we had to play the game to win.”

Blues rookie Vladimir Tarasenko scored his fourth goal of the season in Thursday’s game. He leads the Blues in goals and points (6).

Halak will start in goal for the Blues on Saturday.

Injuries:  None

Series Notes

*This is the first of three meetings between the two teams.

*The Stars were 1-3-0 (2 points) against the Blues last season.

*The Blues were 3-1-0 (6 points) against the Stars last season.

*The Stars are 99-114-47 all-time against St. Louis.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 30th in the league in shots against (38.2 per game).

*The Blues are 1st in the league in shots against (19.5 per game).

*The Blues rank third in the league in team goals against average (1.47).

*The Stars rank fourth in the league in team save percentage (.948).

*St. Louis is 7-13 (53.8%) on the power play this season.

*The Stars have outscored their opposition 5-1 during five-on-five play this season.

*Stars center Vernon Fiddler has won 30 of 46 (65.2%) of his faceoffs this season, and ranked third in the league following Thursday’s games.

Statistical matchup

Category Stars Blues
Record 2-1-1 3-1-0
Home 1-0-1 2-0-0
Away 1-1-0 1-1-0
Goals/game 2.00 3.50
Goals against/game 2.00 1.50
Shots/game 26.2 33.2
Shots against/game 38.2 19.5
Power play 2-12 (16.7) 7-13 (53.8)
Penalty kill 14-19 (73.7) 14-17 (82.4)
Faceoffs 44.5 45.7
Team Leaders Stars Blues
Points Jagr, Whitney: 4 Tarasenko: 6
Goals Jagr, Ryder, Eriksson: 2 Tarasenko: 4
Assists Eakin: 3 Shattenkirk: 5
Goaltenders Lehtonen: 2-0-1, 2.31, .942
Nilstorp: 0-1-0, 1.02, .969
Halak: 2-0-0, 1.18, .921
Elliot: 1-1-0, 1.98, .925

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