Preview: Blues at Stars
The Dallas Stars look to extend their point streak to seven games and move into a virtual tie with defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis for first place in the Central Division when they host the Blues on Friday night. Dallas is 5-0-1 over the past six contests, with the only blemish in overtime at Ottawa, and four of the victories were by one goal after Wednesday’s 3-2 victory over Arizona at home.
“You obviously want to climb to the top, but you want to push yourself away from the bottom there,” Stars goalie Ben Bishop told the Dallas Morning News. “It’s a good opportunity to do both. It should be a fun atmosphere. It always is a good atmosphere when we play the Blues. … It’ll be a fun one to play with the magnitude of it, but it’s just two points at the end of the day.” St. Louis, which knocked off Dallas in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs last season in seven games, has earned at least a point in all three 2019-20 meetings (2-0-1). The Blues have rebounded from a five-game slide (0-3-2) with a pair of shutouts while allowing just 31 shots combined after edging Arizona 1-0 at home on Thursday, outshooting the Coyotes 46-14. “Sometimes I didn’t even realize it was a real game,” St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington told reporters after notching his second straight shutout Thursday. “I was just kind of chillin’ back there.”
TIME: 8:30 p.m. ET. TV: FS Midwest, FS Southwest Plus
ABOUT THE BLUES (34-17-10): Reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Ryan O'Reilly snapped a seven-game goal drought when he scored the decisive tally in the third period Thursday and is second on the team with 52 points. Veteran left wing David Perron has not made the scoresheet in the last three games, but leads the team with 23 goals - which is tied for the second-most in his career - and tops the club with 56 points. Brayden Schenn had an assist on O’Reilly’s goal Thursday and is two points from reaching 50 for the fifth straight season while fellow forward Jaden Schwartz has two of his 18 goals in his last four games.
ABOUT THE STARS (35-19-6): All-Star center Tyler Seguin has warmed up the past few weeks, recording three goals and three assists over the past five games to boost his team-leading total to 46 points - 14 more than anyone else on the team. Captain Jamie Benn, fellow forward Alexander Radulov and defenseman Miro Heiskanen (three assists in last two games) all boast 32 points while Benn leads the way with 18 goals (299 in his career). Russian right wing Denis Gurianov is close behind with 17 goals - third in the league among rookies in the NHL - and 23-year-old center Roope Hintz has also scored 17 times.
1. St. Louis D Marco Scandella, acquired from Montreal on Tuesday, was a plus-1 in 19 minutes, 24 seconds of ice time in his team debut Thursday.
2. Bishop (21-12-4, .925 save percentage) has won three straight starts overall, but is 0-2-0 this season versus the Blues despite a .928 SP.
3. The Blues are 1-for-14 with the man advantage in the last five contests while Dallas has at least one power-play goal in eight of the last nine games.
PREDICTION: Stars 3, Blues 2