Preview: Banged up Blues take on the Stars
The Dallas Stars remain at home as they take on the St. Louis Blues Sunday afternoon at the American Airlines Center. The Stars have had a few days "off" since losing to the Edmonton Oilers, as they beat the Dallas Stars convincingly 5-1 last Thursday night in Dallas, which was the first time in 11 games for the Oilers to do so. Basically that game was dominated by the Oilers, bad penalties by the Stars, and a lack of shooting the puck didn't help Dallas at all.
On to the next opponent for the Stars, the St. Louis Blues, who beat Dallas in their first meeting in January, in a close one 4-3 at the AAC. Since that game in late January, there has been some drastic changes for both teams. First for the Stars, Jamie Benn will play his first game in this series against the Blues, as he was just resigned by the Stars during the first game against the Blues. Next, Michael Ryder is gone, traded to Montreal for Erik Cole, Ryder did have a goal in that previous meeting against the Blues. Lastly, Cris Nilstorp started the first game of this series against the Blues, but left late in the third with a injury, Kari Lehtonen would finish the game out.
The St. Louis Blues come into Dallas off a win beating the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 in St. Louis. However the Blues are missing some key players on the bench, starting with their star rookie Vladimir Tarasenko, along with Steen, McDonald, and Jamie Langenbrunner all are listed on injured reserve per the Blues' website.
Speaking of Jaime Langenbrunner, he will be honored at the Stars' game for making the 20 year All Time Team and will be dropping the ceremonial game puck. The Stars' 20 year All Time Team is composed of players past and present through the twenty years of hockey in Dallas, and the twenty players chosen were voted in by the fans.
On to some keys for the Dallas Stars to be successful against the Blues, in this second game of the series. First, attack the net, the Blues look to be starting goalie Brian Elliott who has not started a game since February 11th, might be some rust there. Next stay out of the damn penalty box, the Stars currently are fifth in the NHL in total penalty minutes, and third in taking minor penalties, Dallas must practice some discipline. Despite the Blue's injuries to key players, they will still have top scorers in Shattenkirk, Oshie, Backes, Stewart, and David Perron who got two goals and an assist the last meeting with the Stars. Finally with Erik Cole having one game under his belt as a Dallas Star, maybe the Stars can get some scoring going again and be more consistent on the power play. (The video below is from the Blues-Stars first meeting back in Jan.)