For the first time in their past four meetings, and despite trailing seven spots in the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars defeated the St. Louis Blues today, 4-1.
In what could only be described as a lackluster first period for the Stars, the Blues opened scoring, and making quick work of dismantling a still-struggling Stars defense to do so. St. Louis’ David Perron took full advantage of an unattended corner of net after Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen over-committed to save a flurry of shots from the Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk. An ensuing brawl between Dallas’ Antoine Roussel and St. Louis’ Chris Stewart seemed to energize the sluggish team, as has become quite commonplace this season. Despite a lingering air of exhaustion and disjointedness, the Stars rallied back with Roussel and Derek Roy feeding new-comer Erik Cole, whose wrist shot tied the game. Two and a half minutes later, Roy headed for the net and St. Louis goalie Brian Elliott yet again, squeezing an unassisted goal under Elliott’s armpit that put the Stars ahead; a lead the team refused to relinquish.
Scoring resumed in the third period when Dallas’ Loui Ericsson padded the Stars’ lead 3-1, netting yet another wrist shot off Elliott. With 2:04 remaining in the game, Perron’s stick hooked around Jamie Benn resulting in the last Dallas power play of the game. With one minute left of the clock, Jaromir Jagr flipped a snap shot into the St. Louis net, giving the Stars the final goal of the night.
In only his second game back after suffering a groin injury, Kari Lehtonen seemed determined to deny a repeat performance from Thursday, when the Stars lost to the Edmonton Oilers 5-1. The Big Fin faced 26 shots on goal, while the Stars sent 27 Elliott’s way.
The win bumped the Stars from 11th in the Western Conference to sixth, tied with the San Jose Sharks, the Blues and the Detroit Red Wings. The win also elevated the Stars from fifth place in the Pacific Division to third.
The Stars now head west, first facing the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings during a short, two-game road trip that concludes with a game against the Coyotes in Phoenix on Saturday. The game starts at 9:30 p.m. Central Time, Thursday and will be shown from the Staples Center on Fox Sports Southwest.