St. Louis at Dallas

Stars power play overwhelms Blues for sixth win in a row

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars' struggling power play got back on track with help from the St. Louis Blues.

Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro and Jere Lehtinen scored power-play goals against some shaky St. Louis goaltending, and the Stars extended their winning streak to six games with a 6-2 victory over the Blues on Saturday night.

Dallas set a season high for scoring power-play goals after entering the night 9-for-78 with the man advantage since Jan. 1, with the Stars notching their three man-advantage goals on only three shots.

The Stars were in the top five in the league in power-play efficiency for much of the early season, but they'd fallen to 13th at the start of play on Saturday. Dallas is first in the league in killing penalties, and now the Stars want their power play to catch up.

"The last few games, we've been passing it on the power play," Ribeiro said. "Tonight, we shot. When you shoot, you get a lot more chances. Our penalty-kill and goaltending have been great all season. But our power play has been in a big slump, so tonight was good for our confidence."

Antti Miettinen had two goals and Jussi Jokinen also scored for the Stars, 9-2 in their last 11 games. Mike Smith stopped 27 shots in his second straight start in place of No. 1 goaltender Marty Turco, out with a sore neck.

Getting goals from five different players is a typical game for the Stars.

"That's who we are as a team," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "Scoring by committee, that's the way we play. When we're clicking, we're going to get a lot of people contributing. It makes us a hard team to play against."

Jay McClement and Jamal Mayers scored for the Blues, who lost their third straight and have allowed 17 goals during that span.

Blues backup goaltender Hannu Toivonen hadn't played in the previous seven games, and he had problems, giving up four goals on 15 shots before he was replaced in the second period by Manny Legace.

Legace was weakened by a case of the flu, and coach Andy Murray wanted to rest his top goalie.

"We didn't want to have to play him," Murray said. "He was sick."

Toivonen made five tough stops in the first four minutes, but Morrow's sharp-angle shot from low in the right circle got between the goalie and the left post at 5:02 of the first period. Morrow's team-high 24th goal came while Mayers was serving a holding-the-stick penalty.

Jokinen made it 2-0 at 2:11 of the second period on a shot from the slot that glanced into the net off Toivonen's stick for Jokinen's 13th goal.

Ribeiro's 23rd on a one-timer from the right circle at 5:30 of the second period stretched Dallas' lead to 3-0.

McClement got the Blues on the board at 9:45, beating Smith from close range for his sixth goal.

After Miettinen scored from the slot through Toivonen's pads at 12:06, Murray sent Legace into the game.

"We focused on getting pucks to the net," Miettinen said. "Their goaltender let a couple of easy ones in. But he made some good saves, too."

Mayers took advantage of Ribeiro's turnover to register his ninth goal on a solo rush at 18:01, narrowing the deficit to 4-2.

Lehtinen's power-play deflection for his eighth goal and Miettinen's 12th goal -- setting a new career high -- moved Dallas' lead to 6-2 in the third period.

Murray refused to say whether Toivonen or his penalty-killing unit was responsible for allowing the Stars three goals on four power-play chances.

"I'm not going to play the blame game," Murray said.

Notes

  • The Stars were without D Sergei Zubov (groin, foot) and D Philippe Boucher (shoulder). Boucher, who has resumed practice, has been out since Dec. 5.
  • D Eric Brewer played his first game as Blues captain. Brewer was appointed captain on Friday.
  • LW Martin Rucinsky (shoulder), D Christian Backman (foot) and RW Mike Johnson (shoulder) were out for St. Louis.
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Brenden Morrow (10) and Antti Miettinen both light up the scoreboard as the Stars silence the Blues.  (AP)
Brenden Morrow (10) and Antti Miettinen both light up the scoreboard as the Stars silence the Blues. (AP)

Scoreboard
St. Louis (24-22-7)0202
Dallas  (34-20-5) «1326
Three Stars
A. Miettinen
DAL


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
M. Smith
DAL


Saves: 27
Save Pct.: .931
J. Mayers
STL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:02Power Play - Brenden Morrow (24), Wrist Shot. Assist: Mike Ribeiro, Mike Modano
2ND PERIOD
02:11Jussi Jokinen (13), Wrist Shot. Assist: Niklas Hagman, Loui Eriksson
05:30Power Play - Mike Ribeiro (23), Slap Shot. Assist: Stephane Robidas, Mike Modano
09:45Jay McClement (6), Slap Shot. Assist: Jamal Mayers, Lee Stempniak
12:06Antti Miettinen (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Matt Niskanen
18:01Jamal Mayers (9), Backhand Shot, Unassisted.
3RD PERIOD
03:03Power Play - Jere Lehtinen (8), Tip-In. Assist: Trevor Daley, Matt Niskanen
08:42Antti Miettinen (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Mike Ribeiro, Niklas Grossman
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:55Mayers, 2 min, Holding the Stick
06:19Jokinen, 2 min, Holding
14:51Morrow, 2 min, Charging
18:25Tkachuk, 2 min, Slashing
2ND PERIOD
05:17Tkachuk, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
01:15King, 2 min, Hooking
09:03Robidas, 2 min, Hooking
15:40Ribeiro, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
 123T
St. Louis9101029
Dallas98623
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Manny Legace27:5462
Hannu Toivonen32:06114
Mike Smith59:34272
Game Information
Attendance - 18584
Referees - Marc Joannette, Dave Jackson
Linesmen - Vaughan Rody, Mark Wheler
 
Other Games
LA 2 Final
Pitt 4
Nash 3 Final
SJ 4
TB 1 Final
OT
Atl 2
Colo 6 Final
Van 2
Fla 6 Final
Bos 3
Edm 1 Final
Cal 4
NYI 3 Final
OT
Min 4
Det 2 Final
OT
Tor 3
NYR 2 Final
Phi 0
Mon 1 Final
Ott 6
Car 1 Final
NJ 6