St. Louis Blues vs. Dallas Stars: Game Preview


The St. Louis Blues will return from a three-day Christmas break on Saturday evening as they host the Dallas Stars at Scottrade Center, marking their first home game in 11 days. This will be the second time that the division opponents have met this year. In the teams’ first meeting of this season on October 28 in Dallas, the Blues won 4-3 in overtime on the wings of a Vladimir Tarasenko hat trick, which included his game-winner in OT.

The Blues, who have fallen to third place in the Central Division after holding the lead for a large chunk of the season, will be aiming to snap a three-game losing streak that they endured over a West Coast trip which featured losses to the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, and Colorado Avalanche. The Blues still have not won a game since forward Jaden Schwartz suffered a broken foot in their victory over the Kings on December 16.

The Stars, meanwhile, will also be seeking to get back on the winning track after losing 4-0 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in their last game. That loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Stars, who have fallen to last place in the Central as the Avalanche have experienced a recent surge which has allowed them to get out of the cellar.

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With the Blues having been off since their loss in Colorado on Tuesday night, it’s difficult to get an idea of what the lineup will look like on Saturday. Due to the 5-0 shellacking that they took from the Avs, there figure to be some changes. It’s possible that we could see Chris Porter or Magnus Paajarvi step back into the forward corps in place of 21-year-old Dmitrij Jaskin, who made some crucial mistakes on Tuesday.

On the blueline, rookie Petteri Lindbohm figures to get back into the lineup after being recalled from the AHL Chicago Wolves on Friday. Lindbohm played in seven straight games before being sent to Chicago in advance of the NHL’s holiday freeze, and he will likely replace Ian Cole on Saturday night.

The goalie situation will also be up in the air, as starter Jake Allen struggled on Tuesday and was pulled after two periods. With that said, Martin Brodeur was not exactly spectacular in his start last Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings, so it’s difficult to know which direction that coach Ken Hitchcock will decide to go against the Stars.

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