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|5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST5:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:� BRT, February 21, 2019
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas Attendance: 17,945
Blues carry franchise-record win streak into Dallas
Break up the Blues.
St. Louis carries a franchise-record 11 game winning streak into Dallas on Thursday to play the suddenly sliding Stars.
It's taken the Blues 52 seasons and 4,023 games to forge this many consecutive victories, so who's to say they'll be stopped by a Dallas team that's lost three straight and five of six while missing its top goaltender, even if it's a Central Division rival?
St. Louis set the record with a 3-2 overtime win at home over Toronto on Tuesday when Ryan O'Reilly netted the game winner.
"It means a lot," Blues interim coach Craig Berube told the St. Louis Post Dispatch after the win. "The credit goes to the players. They're the guys that made the record and went out and played the game and did the job. It's on them."
Less than two months ago, the Blues were mired near the bottom of the Western Conference standings and getting booed off the ice by the home fans after another in a series of miserable performances.
All that has changed over the past three weeks. St. Louis has forged a streak that's included five wins over teams that would make the playoffs if the postseason started today. Three of those wins, over Tampa Bay, Nashville and, most recently against Toronto, have come in overtime.
"It doesn't seem like we're satisfied," St. Louis defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said after Tuesday's win. "We just want to keep on rolling. A little bit of adversity never hurts you. We won the last couple of games pretty good, but sometimes a little challenge is good, and we stepped up to the plate."
Dallas, conversely, hosts the Blues in the middle game of a crucial three-game homestand that began with a 5-3 loss to Nashville on Tuesday.
The Stars got goals from Jason Spezza, Esa Lindell and Tyler Seguin in the defeat, the latter two of which came in a hectic 36-second stretch of the second period in which Dallas tied the game, took the lead, only for the Predators to respond 21 seconds later. Nashville then won the game with two goals in the third period.
The Stars lost for just the fifth time this season when they scored three goals or more, falling to 21-4-1 in those games.
Dallas is 1-4-1 in its past six games, coinciding with the absence of frontline goaltender Ben Bishop (upper-body). But Tuesday's loss, nor virtually any of the five games the Stars have dropped in the past two weeks, can be laid at the feet of backup netminder Anton Khudobin. Dallas' defense has played a role.
"We're getting away from what our identity is," Stars coach Jim Montgomery told NHL.com after the defeat. "We're a little too loose in our own end. We're not defending our house, and especially right in front of the net and the hash marks well enough. We're giving too many opportunities in that area, especially (in Tuesday's game), and that, ultimately, is costing us."
Lindell admitted that there was plenty to be tightened up, especially with the Blues coming to town.
"We're giving up too many goals in front of the net, that's something we can easily clean up," Lindell said. "We have to battle harder, take the sticks out, and make it easier for our goalie."
St. Louis and Dallas have met twice this season, with each team winning 3-1 in the opposition's home arena.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 21, 2019