Preview: Stars at Blues
The Dallas Stars saw their five-game point streak come to an abrupt halt last time out and will try to move in a positive direction again when they visit the last-place St. Louis Blues on Tuesday in a battle of Central Division rivals. The Stars went 4-0-1, a stretch that included wins over Nashville and Washington, before giving up five unanswered goals after taking a second-period lead in a 5-1 setback at Winnipeg on Sunday.
“I think it’s going to get harder,” Dallas coach Jim Montgomery told reporters of his team’s road ahead while sitting in a playoff position. “The intensity of the second half is going to pick up and, you know, that’s one of our better road games of the year (on Sunday) and we still didn’t come out on top. So you know we still got to keep staying with it and get better.” The Stars won the final three meetings of 2017-18 - all at home - but have dropped seven straight regular-season games at St. Louis, which has won two of its last three overall. Jordan Binnington gave No. 1 goaltender Jake Allen (8-4-0 lifetime versus Dallas) a day off Monday and turned aside all 25 shots he faced to earn a shutout in his first NHL start as the Blues won 3-0 at Philadelphia. Ryan O’Reilly leads St. Louis with 40 points and is riding a six-game streak while David Perron brings a seven-game run into the matchup versus the Stars, against whom he's registered 10 goals and 13 assists in 32 career contests.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Southwest (Dallas), FS Midwest (St. Louis)
ABOUT THE STARS (22-17-4): Tyler Seguin has picked up his production level during a five-game point streak, scoring four goals while setting up three others, and leads the team with 39 points. Alexander Radulov also is wielding a hot stick, notching six of his 37 points in the last three games, and captain Jamie Benn has scored two of his team-best 17 goals over the last three contests. Defenseman John Klingberg (67 points last season) recorded just one point in his first five games following a lengthy stint on injured reserve but has registered four assists in his last four contests.
ABOUT THE BLUES (17-19-4): Vladimir Tarasenko scored on Monday to snap his five-game drought while Brayden Schenn has recorded a goal in back-to-back contests for the first time this season. Tyler Bozak joined the team in Philadelphia but was scratched due to an upper-body injury while Alex Steen left Monday’s game with a similar ailment. Captain Alex Pietrangelo notched an assist for his third point in three games while fellow defenseman Carl Gunnarsson set up a goal for his first point of the season.
1. St. Louis LW Jaden Schwartz has notched an assist in three consecutive games but has gone eight contests without a goal.
2. Dallas G Ben Bishop, who started his career with the Blues, is 4-5-1 with a .921 save percentage in 10 games against his former team.
3. The Blues are 1-for-18 on the power play over their last six contests, while the Stars have scored with the man advantage in five straight games.
PREDICTION: Stars 4, Blues 2