Dallas Stars: St. Louis Blues

Stars-Blues Photos

April, 8, 2012
Here are some photos from last night's Stars-Blues game. You can see all the photos by Shannon Byrne here or by clicking below on the image of Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen giving his jersey to a fan.

#32 Kari Lehtonen gives his jersey to a lucky fan.Dallas Stars vs. St. Louis Blues, April 7, 2012.

Stars fall to Blues in final game, 3-2

April, 7, 2012

The Dallas Stars ended their season with a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues at American Airlines Center Saturday night. The Stars, who lost their final five games, ended the season with a 42-35-5 record and 89 points.

Ryan Garbutt and Philip Larsen scored goals for the Stars. Richard Bachman stopped 32 of 35 shots.

First period

Stars goalie Richard Bachman was sharp in the first period, stopping nine shots.

The Stars had three power play chances, but could muster only one shot on goal.

St. Louis was 0-1 on the power play.

The Blues had a 9-8 shots advantage through one period.

Second period

The Stars had a couple of good scoring chances early in the second, but Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak stopped Adam Burish on a breakaway and denied a Ryan Garbutt bid from the slot.

Garbutt and Blues defenseman Barret Jackman picked up fighting majors in the period.

The Blues scored the first goal of the game with 8:54 left in the period when a Kris Russell shot from the left circle hit traffic, sending the puck over Stars goalie Richard Bachman and into the net.

Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon, making his NHL debut, had a nice backdoor chance, but was stopped by Halak with 3:00 left.

Third period

The Blues extended their lead to 2-0 with a power play goal with 12:06 remaining. With Loui Eriksson in the box for tripping, Alex Steen put a shot on net that was tipped into the net by David Perron.

The Stars got on the board with 10:51 remaining with the two teams playing four-on-four. Eriksson put a shot on goal from the left circle off the rush and Ryan Garbutt crashed the net and knocked the rebound past Halak to make it a 2-1 game. Jordie Benn also picked up an assist on the goal.

The Blues got their two goal lead back with another power play tally with 6:16 remaining when Perron roofed a shot from the right circle for his second goal of the night.

The Stars cut the lead to 3-2 with 3:04 left in regulation when Philip Larsen beat Halak for his

Stars lineup

R. Smith-Benn-Ryder

Pardy-Jordie Benn

Bachman (starter)

Scratched: Robidas, Dowell, Petersen, Dvorak, Fistric, Ott, Souray, Ribeiro

Stars-Blues Preview

April, 6, 2012
St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars
Saturday April 7
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (42-34-5) were eliminated from the playoff race with a 2-0 loss at Nashville Thursday. It was the Stars’ fourth straight loss and their eighth in the last 11 games.

The Stars will play some of their prospects and younger players in Saturday’s regular season finale against the Blues.

“We’ll see (defenseman) Brenden Dillon, (forward) Scott Glennie and Smitty (forward Reilly Smith),” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “Our veteran guys will be in there, too. We’ll surround those guys with players that can help them out.”

Dallas recalled Glennie, Dillon and D Jordie Benn from Texas of the AHL Friday. Glennie and Dillon will make their NHL debuts.

Richard Bachman will start in goal for the Stars.

Injuries: D Mark Fistric (groin) is out. Steve Ott, Stephane Robidas, Radek Dvorak, Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow are questionable.

About the Blues

The Blues (48-22-11) saw their winless streak go to four games (0-2-2) with a 4-1 home loss to Phoenix Friday night. It was just the sixth home regulation loss of the season for the Blues, who remain two points behind Vancouver for first overall in the Western Conference.

“This is what happens when you play with skill ahead of work,” said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. “They pushed us out of the game competitively, and made us play and act as individuals. They started with the pucks off the faceoffs, they defended well, they blocked shots, they did all the things we do as a team and they did them well.”

The Blues still can take first overall in the West with a win in Dallas Saturday and a Vancouver regulation loss against Edmonton on Saturday.

Injuries: None

Series notes

*This is the fourth and final meeting between the two teams this season.

*The Blues have won two of the three previous games.

*October 13, at Dallas: Stars 3, Blues 2
December 26, at St. Louis: Blues 5, Stars 3
January 16, at St. Louis: Blues 1, Stars 0

Crunch time arrives for the Stars

April, 1, 2012
The Dallas Stars have been in an every-game-is-big mentality for some time now, but they've faced no bigger game this season than this Tuesday’s tilt against San Jose at American Airlines Center.

“It’s a do-or-die mentality,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. “It’s got to be there.”

They’ll enter the game one point behind the eighth-place Sharks with three games left. A loss would be a devastating blow. A win, and there’s life.

“Our fate is in our own hands, still, and at this juncture of the season that is what you have to focus on,” Gulutzan said. “We don’t need someone to beat somebody else, we just need to win our last three games.”

Those last three games won’t be easy tilts. Three good teams. All with something to play for as well. The Sharks, like the Stars, are in a dogfight just to make the playoffs.

The Nashville Predators, whom the Stars visit Thursday, are in a three-way battle for the fourth seed in the West and home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

The St. Louis Blues, who come to Dallas on Saturday, are vying for the top spot in the West and home ice advantage throughout the conference playoffs.

“We’ve been doing it the hard way all year and we’re kind of in that spot right now. It’s nice to go back home, but we’ve got our work cut out,” Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. “It’s three tough teams, (San Jose) is a tough team to play, they’re hungry, they know what’s at stake and it doesn’t get any easier from there.”

The Sharks have won four of five from the Stars this season and their 3-0 win Saturday was a convincing victory. But three of their wins over the Stars came with Dallas playing on the second night of a back-to-back, and the Stars will now have a couple of days to rest up and get ready for the rematch.

“It’s a must-win,” Morrow said. “I don’t know the exact mathematical equation or what needs to be done, but it’s probably three wins or nothing for us. It’s nice to be able to get them again while the blood’s hot a little bit, get a little redemption, but if we do the same thing we did (Saturday night), we’re not going to have the success we want.”

“You just got to bounce back, learn from what we did wrong,” Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas said. “It’s a good team and but it’s a team we know we can beat. Sometimes when things don’t go well, you try to complicate things and that’s the wrong thing to do. You’ve got to simplify them.”

And the simple fact is the Stars, who have lost three of their last four games and six of their last nine, have to win Tuesday.
The Dallas Stars are on the outside looking in at a playoff spot for the first time in more than a month. Saturday was not a good night for the Stars. Among those Pacific Division teams battling for the third, seventh and eighth spots, they were the only team not to get points.

Their 3-0 loss to the Sharks dropped them down to ninth, one point behind the now eighth place Sharks. Tuesday is basically a must-win game for the Stars. The Sharks need the win, too. It’s not like they are out of the woods because they won Saturday.

The Kings lost in a shootout to Minnesota Saturday, but the point they picked up kept them in first in the Pacific Division. Phoenix, a 4-0 winner over Anaheim Saturday, tied the Kings at 91 points. Both teams have 33 regulation/overtime wins, so it went to the next tiebreaker, which is the head-to-head matchup. Both teams won three games, but the Kings were 3-1-2 and the Coyotes were 3-2-1 and the Kings win the series 8 points to 7 points. And people wonder why I put the records for the season series and not just the wins in game previews.

But the bottom line is the race is still tight. None of those four teams has anything secured yet and none of them is out of the picture yet. The standings have shifted a lot this past week and they can shift a lot over this final week.

Some other notes from Saturday night:

*Chicago clinched a playoff spot with a 5-4 victory over Nashville.

*Vancouver took over the top spot in the West, beating Calgary 3-2 in overtime and getting some help from Columbus, which beat St. Louis 5-2.

*The Flames, by the way, were officially eliminated from the playoff race with the OT loss to the Canucks.

There’s still a pretty good battle for that fourth seed and home ice in the first round. Detroit and Chicago both are one point behind Nashville. Detroit hosts Florida Sunday and Chicago hosts Minnesota.

For the fifth time in the last nine days there’s been a change at the top of the Pacific Division. The new leader is the Los Angeles Kings, who won 4-1 at Edmonton last night to pass the Dallas Stars. The Kings are 8-2-0 over their last 10 games.

The Kings play at Minnesota on Saturday night, so they can hold that division lead with a win -- and move one step closer to securing a playoff spot.

The game of the night in the playoff race is Dallas at San Jose. The Stars dropped to seventh after their loss in Vancouver Friday night. They have a one point lead over the Sharks, who currently sit in ninth place. It’s a huge game for both teams. It’s a chance to gain points and take away points from a team you’re battling for a playoff spot. This is the first of a home-and-home series and both teams need the points, so that makes it all that much more intriguing.

The Coyotes, who are in eighth place in the West, host Anaheim Saturday night. The Coyotes are 2-3-0 against Anaheim this season, so it will be another chance for the Ducks to wreak some havoc in the race. A win for the Coyotes and they pick up points on whoever falls in the Stars-Sharks battle.

Colorado beat Calgary Friday night. That kept the Avalanche’s slim hopes alive and basically buried the Flames’ chances. Colorado has 88 points, but doesn’t play for the next five days and has only two games left. If the Avs win their final two games – home tilts against Columbus and Nashville – they’d hit 92 points. They’d have to hope for a lot of losing among those four Pacific Division teams to get in.

Calgary is at 85 points with three games left. They could max out at 91 points and even if they did, it’s not likely it would be enough to get them in.

Nashville beat Detroit Friday to take over fourth place in the West. The Predators now lead Detroit by one point. That’s a key spot since it brings home ice in the first round. And the Canucks are just one point behind St. Louis for first overall in the West. There’s still a lot of stuff to be decided.

Playoff watch: Several key games

March, 22, 2012
Just look at the standings and you can see why every game and every point is big right now for the Stars. They still sit atop the Pacific Division and third in the West, but their grip on that spot is precarious. The lead is just one point in the division and just one point on ninth place.

Plenty of big games tonight. The Stars and Canucks square off in a battle of division leaders. Vancouver played last night in Chicago, losing 2-1 in overtime to the Blackhawks. They also lost forward Daniel Sedin, who took an elbow to the head from Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith in the first period and did not return. We should get more on Sedin’s status today. The Canucks, who have been struggling lately, played well last night but are just 3-5-3 over their last 11 games.

Los Angeles, one point behind the Stars and eighth in the West, takes on St. Louis, which is coming off a 4-3 loss at Anaheim last night. The Kings are starting to score some goals and have won five straight games. The Blues, who are on game five of a seven-game road trip, are 1-2-1 over their last four games.

Phoenix, one point behind the Stars and ninth in the West, hosts seventh-seeded Colorado, which is tied with the Stars at 85 points. The Coyotes will be without captain Shane Doan, who will be serving the first game of his three-game suspension for elbowing Stars forward Jamie Benn. The Avalanche are on a roll. They have points in six straight (4-0-2) and are 6-1-2 over their last nine games.

San Jose -- which is in 10th place, three points behind the Stars and two points out of the playoffs -- hosts Boston tonight.

Calgary, in eleventh place, plays at Minnesota. The Flames are worth watching because the Stars play them in a home-and-home series this Saturday and Monday.

Playoff watch: Thursday's key games

March, 8, 2012
There were no games in the Western Conference last night, but there are key ones in the playoff race Thursday.

The Stars, of course, host San Jose. The Stars lead the Sharks by three points and these are big points for both. The Stars are on a roll with points in eight straight and the Sharks have been struggling recently, picking up just two wins in their last 11 games. The Stars’ lead over San Jose could be as high as five or as a low as one by the end of the night.

Phoenix, which is two points behind the Stars and has lost four in a row, plays Minnesota. The Wild are winless in five and have been outscored 23-5 during that stretch.

Los Angeles, three points behind Dallas and winners of three in a row plays at Columbus. The Blue Jackets have won three in a row, all of them against teams in the playoff hunt -- Phoenix (twice) and Colorado.

Colorado, which is three points behind the Stars, is at Nashville tonight. It’s a big test for the Avs, whose last two wins have come against the struggling Wild.

There’s still a great race for the top spot in the West between St. Louis, Vancouver and Detroit. St. Louis plays Anaheim and Vancouver plays Winnipeg tonight. Detroit is idle.

With their big win at Vancouver last night, the Stars increased their lead in the race for first in the Pacific to two points over Phoenix and they have a three point lead over San Jose and Los Angeles. The Sharks have two games in hand and the Kings, who are ninth in the conference, have one. That just goes to show how tight the race is.

Phoenix lost last night at Columbus. After an 11-0-1 run, the Coyotes have now dropped four straight games. San Jose lost 3-2 in a shootout to Edmonton. The Sharks are 2-7-2 in their last 11 games. The Kings won last 5-4 last night at Nashville. The Kings have won three in a row for the first time since November 12-17.

Colorado and Calgary both won last night, so both those teams continue to hang around that final playoff spot. The Avalanche have won six of their last eight games (6-2-0). For the Flames, it was just their second win in the last eight games (2-3-3).

With help from the Stars, St. Louis - a 5-1 winner over Chicago – moved into the top spot in the West. The Stars are now within two points of Chicago as far as total points.

Everybody in the Western race is off tonight, so enjoy a night of no scoreboard watching.

The Stars have a chance to gain ground in the playoff race Friday when it comes to their Pacific Division foes.

Two points against the Edmonton Oilers and the Stars will pull even with San Jose at 73 points and be within two of Phoenix for the Pacific Division lead and third overall in the West.

Both the Sharks and Coyotes lost last night in regulation. Phoenix lost 4-2 at home to Calgary. It was the Coyotes’ first regulation loss since Jan. 31. The Sharks lost 1-0 at home to Buffalo to fall to 4-9-1 over their last 14 games.

With their win over the Coyotes, the Flames pulled to within two points of the Stars. The Flames play again tonight, taking on the Ducks in Anaheim.

Colorado had a chance to move into eighth place last night but lost 2-0 at home to Columbus.

Vancouver beat St. Louis 2-0 last night to stay on top of the West. The Blues dropped from second to fourth with the loss.

Chicago, four points ahead of the Stars and currently in sixth place, plays at Ottawa tonight.

Playoff race watch: Colorado lurks

March, 1, 2012
With the point they picked up in last night’s shootout loss to the Penguins, the Stars are one point ahead of Colorado and Los Angeles in the race for the final playoff spot in the West.

Colorado, which has won four games in a row, has a chance to move into eighth place Thursday with a win over Columbus in Denver. Even if the Avs do move into eighth, the Stars will have a game in hand.

The Stars lost ground to Chicago, which moved into sixth place with a 5-4 win over Toronto. The Blackhawks have a four-point lead over the Stars.

San Jose is in seventh place, two points ahead of the Stars. The Sharks, who have two games in hand on the Stars and three on Chicago, host Buffalo tonight.

Calgary plays at Phoenix. The Flames are four points out of eighth and have a game in hand. The Flames, 0-2-2 in their last four games, could use the two points in a big way.

The Ducks lost to Buffalo last night. That’s a pretty big blow to the Ducks’ already slim chances. They are seven points out, have a bunch of teams to climb over and only 18 games to do it.

Game of the night is St. Louis at Vancouver. The Blues can take over the first overall in the Western Conference with a win over the currently top seeded Canucks.

Playoff watch: Stars within striking distance

February, 23, 2012
Thursday is an opportunity for the Stars to gain ground in the Western Conference playoff race. If they win and Calgary loses against Phoenix, they’ll be in eighth place. If they win and Calgary wins, then they’ll be within one point of that final spot.

Of course, they have to win against a Chicago team that seems to have gotten its act together after going through a nine-game winless streak. The Blackhawks have won four in a row.

Tonight’s an opportunity for the Flames and Coyotes as well. The Flames have a shot to move back into the top eight. The Coyotes can put more distance between themselves and eighth place and keep the pressure on the Sharks, whom they are chasing for the Pacific Division lead and the third overall seed.

The game of the night in the West has to Vancouver at Detroit. The Red Wings and Canucks are battling for the top spot in the West and Detroit’s 23-game home winning streak is on the line.

St. Louis plays at Nashville tonight. The Predators are trying to hunt down the Blues for fourth overall in the West and home ice in the first round.

Last night, Colorado defeated Los Angeles 4-1 in Denver. The Kings, who blew a 3-0 lead against Phoenix Tuesday night and lost in a shootout, are slumping. They are 0-3-1 in their last four and 2-6-2 over their last ten.

Short-handed Stars shut out in St. Louis

January, 16, 2012

Missing two of their top players, the Dallas Stars played a gritty, determined game and got a superb performance from goaltender Kari Lehtonen, but it wasn’t enough to get points in St. Louis Monday night. T.J. Oshie scored the game’s only goal with 8:34 remaining as the Blues beat the Stars 1-0 at Scottrade Center.

“We knew it was going to be a tight game against this team. They play a lot of low scoring games,” said Lehtonen, who stopped 31 of 32 shots. “When we went to the third period we felt pretty good about our game. They kind of took it to the next level, they got the one goal and it was enough today.”

The game’s only goal came with 8:34 remaining. After a faceoff in the St. Louis zone, Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo chipped the puck out of the zone setting up a two-on-two rush and David Perron set up Oshie, who got to the net and slipped the puck past Lehtonen.

“We got into a position to have some success. We got it into a next goal wins game and it just wasn’t us that got it,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “I thought we battled hard.”

The Stars, playing without their top two centers – Jamie Benn and Mike Ribeiro – battled one of the top teams in the league and one of the toughest at home toe-to-toe for 60 minutes.

“When you’re missing a couple of good players, you have to work hard, try to eliminate penalties and try to score a couple goals,” Lehtonen said. “Everything else was great except the outcome. We didn’t get the points.”

With Benn and Ribeiro out, Gulutzan had to rework his forward line combinations for the game. The Stars ended up with 22 shots on goal against the Blues, one of the top defensive teams in the league.

“I liked the work ethic,” Gulutzan said. “We didn’t create a whole ton, but we worked hard and, for the most part, we were fairly stingy.”

The Stars didn’t have a lot of chances, but they did have a few quality ones on Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak. He made a big save on Loui Eriksson’s point blank backhand attempt in the first. He stopped Eric Nystrom late in the second. He stopped a Nystrom breakaway in the third.

The Blues, who pulled into a three-way tie for the most points in the league, extended their points streak to seven games (6-0-1) and pushed their home points streak to 13 games (11-0-2).

“This was one of those find a way games,” said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. “Dallas came with a definitive game plan. They checked us hard. There wasn’t a lot of easy ice out there. It was a gritty game by both teams. I thought we gutted it out and played a hell of a third period.”

For the Stars, despite the loss, there were positives to take from the game.

“I thought we were pretty good tonight. We talked about keeping it simple, nobody trying to do too much and everybody pulling their end. I think we did that,” said Stars forward Adam Burish. “A 0-0 game coming in is what we expected and wanted to play. We were one shot away. Give St. Louis credit. That’s a good hockey team. But that is the kind of game going forward, with the injuries we have and what we’re going through, that’s how we have to play. I think overall we can be positive about it.”


*Stars forward Jamie Benn, who had an appendectomy Sunday, is out of the hospital and is said to be doing well.

*The Stars were shut out for the fifth time this season.

*The Stars were 0-3 on the power play and are 3-39 (7.7%) on the power play over the last 12 games.

*St. Louis has not allowed a third period goal in their last nine games and have outscored their opponents 6-0 in third periods during that stretch.

*Adam Pardy was the lone healthy scratch for the Stars.

Postgame quotes

January, 16, 2012
Here are some postgame quotes after the Dallas Stars lost 1-0 to the St. Louis Blues Monday night.

Coach Glen Gulutzan

“We got into a position to have some success. We got it into a next goal wins game and it just wasn’t us that got it. I thought we battled hard.

Gulutzan on the new line combinations

“I liked the work ethic. We didn’t create a whole ton, but we worked hard and, for the most part, we were fairly stingy.”

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen

“We knew it was going to be a tight game against this team. They play a lot of low scoring games. When we went to the third period we felt pretty good about our game. They kind of took it to the next level, they got the one goal and it was enough today.”

Stars forward Adam Burish

“I thought we were pretty good tonight. We talked about keeping it simple, nobody trying to do too much and everybody pulling their end. I think we did that. A 0-0 game coming in is what we expected and wanted to play. We were one shot away. Give St. Louis credit. That’s a good hockey team. But that is the kind of game going forward, with the injuries we have and what we’re going through, that’s how we have to play. I think overall we can be positive about it.”

St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock

“This was one of those find a way games. Dallas came with a definitive game plan. They checked us hard. There wasn’t a lot of easy ice out there. It was a gritty game by both teams. I thought we gutted it out and played a hell of a third period. “

Stars fall to St. Louis, 1-0

January, 16, 2012
The Dallas Stars, playing without Jamie Benn and Mike Ribeiro, rolled out a gritty effort Monday night in St. Louis but they came up short, falling 1-0 to the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. T.J. Oshie’s goal with 8:34 remaining snapped a scoreless tie and ran St. Louis’ points streak to seven games (6-0-1). Kari Lehtonen was brilliant in net for the Stars, stopping 31 of 32 shots.

First period

The Stars outshot the Blues 8-7 in a scoreless first period.

The Stars had a couple of good chances, but Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak made big stops on Loui Eriksson and Michael Ryder.

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen was sharp in goal for the Stars.

Dallas defenseman Sheldon Souray left the game after taking a shot off the ankle. He returned for the start of the second period.

Second period

The Blues outshot the Stars 11-8 and both teams had two power play chances, but neither team was able to put a puck in the net and the game remained scoreless.

The Stars had a couple of great chances late in the period, but Jaroslav Halak stopped a point blank chance by Eric Nystrom and a Michael Ryder redirection went just wide.

Kari Lehtonen was excellent again in the second for the Stars, making several quality stops, including a few with a lot of traffic in front of him.

Third period

The Blues had some good pressure early, but Toby Petersen made a kick save to keep out of the net and Lehtonen came up with a couple of big stops with St. Louis on the power play.

The Stars had a great chance to take the lead, but Halak denied Nystrom on a breakaway.

The Blues finally broke the scoreless tie with 8:34 remaining when David Perron set up T.J. Oshie off the rush, and Oshie slipped the puck past Lehtonen for the game’s only goal.

Stars lineup



Lehtonen (starter)

Scratched: Pardy
Injured: Benn (appendix), Ribeiro (knee), Larsen (concussion), Vincour (knee)