Preview: Stars Host Blues Tuesday

The Dallas Stars host their closest Central Division neighbors, the St. Louis Blues, Tuesday night. With seven points separating the two teams in the standings, though, the division-rival aspect of the game takes a back seat to the Stars’ desperate need for two points.

“We need every point we [can get],” said Dallas defenseman John Klingberg. “So it’s obvious, for every game now, we need to take as many points as possible.”

The Stars will have every opportunity to earn two points Tuesday, as the visiting Blues have struggled of late: they’re just 2-8-0 in their previous 10 road games and 4-4-2 in their last 10 games overall. Add in the fact that the Blues played last night (a 3-2 overtime loss in St. Louis to the Edmonton Oilers), and it equals a very good chance for Dallas to win back-to-back games for just the second time this season.

St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars

American Airlines Center – 7:30 pm CST

Broadcast channels – FS-SW, FS-MW

2016-17 Season Series: November 3 – Stars 6, Blues 2

November 28 – Blues 4, Stars 3 (OT)

St. Louis Blues: 17-11-5  39 Points

Road Record: 4-9-1

Hot Players: Vladimir Tarasenko, Kevin Shattenkirk and Kyle Brodziak

Key Injuries: Robert Bortuzzo

Projected lines:


Jaden Schwartz – Paul Stastny – Nail Yakupov

Alexander Steen – Patrik Berglund – David Perron

Robby Fabbri – Jori Lehtera – Vladimir Tarasenko

Scottie Upshall – Kyle Brodziak – Ryan Reaves


Joel Edmundson – Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester – Colton Parayko

Carl Gunnarsson – Kevin Shattenkirk


Jake Allen


Dallas Stars: 13-14-6 – 32 Points

Home Record: 9-5-2

Hot Players: Antti Niemi

Key Injuries: Patrick Sharp, Mattias Janmark, Ales Hemsky

Projected lines:


Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Patrick Eaves

Antoine Roussel – Radek Faksa – Brett Ritchie

Lauri Korpikoski – Jason Spezza – Jiri Hudler

Curtis McKenzie – Devin Shore – Adam Cracknell


Esa Lindell – John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis – Stephen Johns

Johnny Oduya – Jordie Benn


Antti Niemi

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] Dallas defenseman Johnny Oduya was injured in Saturday’s win over Philadelphia. He left the game just past the midpoint of the second period, but returned for the third. Though he didn’t practice yesterday, Oduya took part in the optional morning skate Tuesday and will skate in warm-ups tonight. He’ll be a game-time decision, according to Lindy Ruff.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] Though the St. Louis Blues no longer have David Backes and Troy Brouwer to terrorize Dallas defensemen on the forecheck, they’re not a “softer” team, said Jordie Benn. “Just because those guys are gone doesn’t mean anything. They’re still a big, strong team, and they’re tough to play against.”

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] Klingberg agreed with Jordie’s assessment. “I think they’re the same team,” said the smooth-skating Swede. “They’ve still got really heavy D, still got really heavy forwards up front, so no, I think they’re the same team.”

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] Key for the Stars will be containing Vladimir Tarasenko. The Russian right wing enters Tuesday’s game with three goals and four assists in his last five games, and is the Blues’ leading scorer by a wide margin.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap] Like teammate Patrick Eaves, Jordie Benn boasts quite an impressive beard. The defenseman’s facial hair gives him an uncanny resemblance to Yukon Cornelius, a beloved character from the holiday classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Benn, to his credit, has chosen to ‘steer into the skid,’ as it were. “I think it’s hilarious,” said Jordie. “A few of my buddies call me ‘Yukon’ now. I guess it’s a good nickname; I mean, I kind of look like the guy, so…it’s just funny. I love it. It’s Christmastime, so why not?”