(The Stars vs. Blues recap can be found here)
One night after the Stars recorded their first win of the season and Fabian Brunnstrom recorded his first, second, and third goals of the season Dallas traveled to the gateway to west to take on the St. Louis Blues.
So far in the young season the Blues (2-1-0) find themselves doing quite well. Andy McDonald and Paul Kariya of the Blues find themselves second and third in the NHL for assists. Not surprising for either player, but this is a good sign for a young Blues team looking to show youth can produce and that the future is now.
Andy McDonald was the lifeblood of the Anaheim Ducks Stanley Cup victory, while Paul Kariya may finally see his numbers surge, having a talented center he can rely on in McDonald. The Blues so far this year have 12 goals for, and 11 against.
Tonight’s game against the Stars means a lot to both teams. For the Blues it would likely mean keeping up with the Detroit Red Wings (2-1-0) for the lead in the Central Division.
The Stars on the other hand need a win and two points in an attempt to catch up to the already surging Sharks in the Pacific Division. A win would also likely put the Stars ahead of the second place Coyotes in the Division (4 pts).
In the Stars favor is the momentum and balanced lines Coach Tippett established in last night's game. Moreover the Blues defense will have a heavy focus on the Stars second line of Avery, Richards and Brunnstrom. Although last night it was Brunnstrom with the hat trick, all men on the line are dangerous scorers and could easily find themselves the hero of the stats sheet.
Other good news for the Stars was the always-awesome Mike Modano. He seems reborn with rookie James Neal next to him. Along with Brunnstrom, Neal could likely light the lamp and give the Blues a lot of trouble in the offensive zone.
As well as the surging youngsters, the Stars will likely gain back agitator Steve Ott tonight, who may or may not dress after the Stars' success last night. One thing is for sure, the Stars have a lot of momentum heading into tonight.
For the Stars to win they must get traffic in front of Manny Legace, and shut down Andy McDonald and Paul Kariya. The Stars must also improve on breaking out of the defensive zone, otherwise with turnovers McDonald and the young Blues will snipe out the lights against Turco and the Stars.
Lines as of last night for Dallas Stars (likely to be the same tonight):
Morrow, Ribeiro, Eriksson
Avery, Richards, Brunnstrom
Crombeen, Modano, Neal
Lundqvist, Petersen, Barch
Injuries as reported by the Dallas Morning News:
Dallas: C Steve Ott (undisclosed) is questionable. RW Jere Lehtinen (groin) is doubtful. D Sergei Zubov (hip) is out.
St. Louis: RW Dan Hinote (leg) and RW Lee Stempniak (knee) are questionable. D Erik Johnson (knee) and D Jeff Woywitka (foot) are out.
Tonight’s game will be live from St. Louis at 7:30pm Central. Television broadcast in Texas will be on Fox Sport Net – Southwest and in Missouri on Fox Sports Net – Midwest. The game can be heard on the radio in Texas on WBAP-AM 820.
Image: Courtesy of Getty Images via Yahoo Sports
Injury information: Courtesy of Dallas Morning News Dallas Stars blog.
Ken Armer is a senior hockey writer and Community Leader for the NHL and Dallas Stars. You can contact him on his profile or via e-mail at email@example.com