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Monday, December 26, 2011
Stars fall to Blues, 5-3

By Mark Stepneski

The Dallas Stars fell 5-3 to the St. Louis Blues Monday night. Goaltender Richard Bachman, making his eighth straight start, was pulled after giving up three goals on 25 shots through the first two periods. Andrew Raycroft played the final 20 minutes and gave up one goal on 12 shots. Mike Ribeiro, Eric Nystrom and Michael Ryder scored for the Stars. The Stars gave up two power play goals for the fourth straight game. The Blues, who got a pair of goals from Chris Stewart, improved to 15-3-4 since Ken Hitchcock took over as head coach.

First period

Both teams had one power play in the first period and the Blues cashed in on theirs to take a 1-0 lead in the game.

Chris Stewart beat Richard Bachman with a shot from the bottom of the right circle off the rush at the 8:24 mark.

Second period

The Stars tied the game at 4:22 of the second when Alex Goligoski set up Mike Ribeiro, who beat Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak with a shot from the right circle.

But the Blues had their lead back less than two minutes later. After a Stars turnover in the neutral zone, Adam Cracknell handcuffed Richard Bachman with a shot from the left circle to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead at the 6:09 mark.

Bachman came with a big save to keep the Stars within a goal, stopping Blues captain David Backes on an odd-man rush with 6:36 left in the period.

One minute later, Halak stopped Stars forward Jamie Benn on a two-on-one rush to keep the Blues up by a goal.

St. Louis made it a 3-1 game when they scored on their second power play of the game. Jason Arnott scored on a one-timer from just beyond the top of the left circle with 1.1 seconds left in the period.

Third period

Andrew Raycroft took over for Bachman in net for the Stars to start the third period.

The Blues extended their lead to 4-1 at 6:43 the third when Evgeny Gravchev scored off the rebound of a David Perron shot.

But the Stars bounced back to make a game  of it. Eric Nystrom scored from the slot off the rush at the 7:57 mark to make it a 4-2 game.

Then after Blues forward Patrik Berglund turned over the puck on a St. Louis odd-man rush, the Stars got a two-on-one the other way and Michael Ryder beat Jaroslav Halak to make it a 4-3 game with 5:13 remaining.

But the Stars couldn’t get the equalizer. After the Stars pulled Raycroft with 1:30 remaining, Stewart scored into an empty net with 50.6 seconds left to put St. Louis up 5-3.

Stars forward Steve Ott and Blues defenseman Barret Jackman picked up fighting majors in the third.

Stars lineup

Eriksson-Benn-Ryder
Morrow-Ribeiro-Ott
Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak
Petersen-Wandell-Burish

Grossman-Daley
Goligoski-Larsen
Fistric-Pardy

Bachman (starter)
Raycroft

Injured: Robidas (foot), Souray (ankle), Vincour (knee), Lehtonen (groin)
Scratched: Dowell