The Stars hosted the Blues on Saturday night. This is the first time they hosted their divisional foe this year. Dallas has started the season a little bumpy. Sitting towards the bottom of the central division. They also had a goal differential of -11 before puck drop. Meanwhile the visiting Blues sit in the third spot in the central and carried a +12 goal difference into this game. These divisional opponents have had a long history. There is some bad blood between these two from some hard fought playoff series over the years. Sparks were expected, and of course some aggressive and gritty hockey too. Dallas had a chip on their shoulder entering this game after losing big to the Minnesota Wild. The Blues however had a nice win against San Jose Sharks before hitting the road for this game.
The whole first period was a back and forth tussle between the teams. Nothing was gained or really given between them. Each had a power play, however neither team converted on them. Both goaltenders made some great saves in the period and kept the teams even after the first 20 minutes. The shots barely favored the Stars with 13 over the Blues 11. Through the first period the teams were evenly matched, something that had been the staple of this rivalry over past 3 years.
A dream start to the period started to play out for the Stars in the second. Less than a minute in they get a power play and start getting some shots on goal. During this, a break away chance gets broken up by Colton Parayko of the Blues and the referee gives Alexander Radulov of the Stars a penalty shot. Jordan Binnington looked beat but got his leg pad just in the right spot to stop Alexander’s penalty shot. After all the excitement the game remained at zero. A little after though the Blues take another penalty. Off the faceoff to start the power play, Ryan Suter fired a shot from the point, it nicked Jamie Benn and found the back of the net.
Even though Dallas had struggled to kill penalties most of the season, they picked up a short handed goal during the period. A two on one breakaway allowed Roope Hintz to pick up his 4th of the year. Dallas did turn around and take a penalty of their own though. During this now fourth power play of the game for the Blues, they finally got their first goal of the game. Brandon Saad got his 7th of the year bringing the Blues back within one. Dallas regained their momentum and put the pressure back on the Blues as the period came to a close. After 40 minutes, Dallas lead 2-1.
A grove to the penalty box continued. Both teams seemed to struggle keeping clean play and the refs consistently blew the whistle. During a Blues power play early in the period, Dallas got a break away and scored short handed goal again. Just like in the second, Hintz got this short handed goal for them. This put them up 3-1 over the Blues. As the clock ticked down, the Blues looked for anything. Binnington was pulled with lots of time left in hopes of finding something. Benn picked up his second of the night as he flicked the puck into the empty net. The Dallas Stars picked up their first win against a divisional opponent as they beat the Blues 4-1.
Dallas Stars looked confident. After struggling most of the season to kill penalties, they actually picked up two short handed goals and killed 5 out of 6 penalties. The chip on their shoulder from the blowout loss to the Wild worked out. They showed some aggressive play and didn’t allow the penalties they took to beat them. Dallas really capitalized on the Blues mistakes and made them pay. This was a great rebound for them and they look to carry this play over as they await the arrival of the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
St. Louis Blues started solid and held their own against the Stars. They struggled on special teams and this cost them greatly. Just one power play goal on all those chances is not enough. On top of that they gave up two short handed goals. Binnington, who normally is solid on break aways couldn’t handle the Stars pressure. They couldn’t find anything as Dallas shut down lanes and picked off some passes. St. Louis looks to rebound as they head back home to face the Vegas Golden Knights.
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