Stars-Blues Preview

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 12:14 AM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Blues Preview
Previewing Friday night\'s tilt between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues.

St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars
Friday, April 11
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (39-30-11) come into Friday’s game two points away from clinching the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. With Phoenix losing in Nashville Thursday, the Stars will get their first crack at securing that playoff spot Friday night. A win over St. Louis and they are in.

The Stars are coming off a 3-1 loss to Columbus on Wednesday. It gave them a 2-2-0 record in a stretch that saw them play four games over five days.

“That was a tough stretch for us with four in five. I think we looked a little fatigued out there,” said Stars forward Alex Chiasson. We’ve got two games and have our own destiny in our hands. We worked too hard this year to let it go. We’ve got to rest up here and give it all we got on Friday and Sunday (at Phoenix).”

Friday’s game will be the final regular season home game for the Stars, who have won four of their last five at American Airlines Center.

Kari Lehtonen is the likely starter in goal.

Injuries: F Ray Whitney (lower body) is out. F Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat) is out for the season.

About the Blues

The Blues (52-21-7) lost their fourth straight game, falling 4-2 at Minnesota. Thursday night. The Blues outshot the Wild 45-15 but Wild goaltender John Curry, playing in his second NHL game and first since 2010, made 43 saves.

“The last two games we’re playing hard, but I don’t know that we’re playing smart,” said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. “I think we are making poor choices at the wrong time and they seem to end up in our net. We’re playing very hard, competing at a high level and we’ve got to keep building it forward.”

The Blues also lost forward T.J. Oshie in Thursday’s game after he was hit in the head by Minnesota forward Mike Rupp, who received a match penalty. Oshie left the game and did not return.

“Obviously Osh is out. Like everything else at this time of year, he is day to day,” Hitchcock said. “Obviously it is a tough hit to take right now.”

Injuries: F T.J. Oshie (upper body) is day to day. F David Backes (foot) and F Vladimir Tarasenko (hand) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the fifth and final regular season meeting between the Stars and Blues.

*The Stars are 2-1-1 in the season series.

*The Blues are 2-1-1 in the series.

*Nov. 23, Dallas at St. Louis: Blues 6, Stars 1

*Dec. 29, St. Louis at Dallas: Blues 3 Stars 2 (OT)

*Mar. 11, Dallas at St. Louis: Stars 3, Blues 2 (OT)

*Mar. 29, Dallas at St. Louis: Stars 4, Blues 2

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 7-1-1 in their last nine games at home.

*The Blues have lost four of their last six on the road (2-4-0).

* The Blues have been outscored 16-5 during their four-game losing streak.

*The Stars are 2-27 (7.4 percent) on the power play over the last seven games.

*The Blues are 2-20 (10.0 percent) on the power play over the last six games.

*The Blues rank third in the league on the penalty kill at 85.6 percent, but have given up five power play goals over the last five games.

*The Stars have allowed one power play goal over the last four games.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has points in four straight games (four goals, two assists, six points).

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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