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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:33 am 
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Chat with us here: BEST DAMN BLUES CHATZY EVER 2016-2017
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The St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars look to finish 2016 with some momentum and correct some notable issues heading into the flip of the calendar to 2017.

For St. Louis (17-11-5), that issue is simple: being more effective at finishing games. On Monday night, the Blues lost 3-2 in overtime to the visiting Edmonton Oilers despite leading 2-1 after two periods.

The defeat continued a recent trend, as St. Louis fell for third time in the past four games it led after 40 minutes of play.

"Grit, determination, technique (is what this boils down to)," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said after the loss to the Oilers. "But that's a team thing. You've got to get it done."

The Blues, who eliminated the Stars in seven games in the second round of the 2016 playoffs by winning Game 7 in Dallas, are 4-4-2 over their past 10 games and 4-9-1 on the road.

Backup goaltender Carter Hutton got the nod between the pipes for the Blues on Monday night, meaning No. 1 netminder Jake Allen, who is 5-2-0 with a 2.38 goals-against-average and two shutouts in eight career games against the Stars, likely will start Tuesday evening at American Airlines Center.

Allen stopped 30 of 36 shots in his last start, a 6-4 home loss to Chicago on Saturday.

Dallas (13-14-6) heads into Tuesday's Central Division tilt fresh off a 3-1 win against Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, a victory that ended the Flyers' 10-game winning streak and made the Stars 9-5-2 on home ice.

Against the Flyers, fourth-line grinder Adam Cracknell delivered the eventual game-winning goal in the third period. Cracknell was signed late in preseason and has been a welcome addition to the lower end of the Dallas lineup, delivering solid, workmanlike shifts and also scoring a few goals.

Cracknell made his NHL debut with the Blues in 2010, so the veteran forward is looking forward to facing the team that afforded him his first shot in the league.

"They gave me an opportunity," Cracknell said after practice Monday. "I had a great career with St. Louis, up and down a little bit, but all in all, a great experience and got some playoff experience as well. Always excited to play against those guys."

Dallas is 4-6-0 over its past 10 games, and the Stars continue to pace the NHL with 101 goals allowed. However, fourth-year coach Lindy Ruff is more than a bit encouraged by his team allowing an average of just two goals per game over its past eight contests.

"Well, I think first (reason for that drop in goals allowed is) a greater commitment from the group," Ruff said. "Second part, we made a system change I think has helped everybody. It's helped our defense, and all the guys like it."

Special teams figure to be critical on Tuesday, especially with the Blues having the NHL's second-best penalty kill (88.5 percent) and No. 7 power play (21.9 percent), but the Stars' special teams will be impacted by two key absences, Johnny Oduya and Patrick Sharp.

Oduya sustained a lower-body injury against Philadelphia on Saturday and did not practice on Monday.

"Johnny will just be day-to-day," Ruff said Monday. "He went out after practice to see how it feels, probably know more (Tuesday). He's in the category of unlikely probably."

Oduya missed 10 games with a lower-body injury before returning to the lineup Dec. 11 at Chicago.

Sharp is a former teammate of Oduya in Chicago, where the two played for several Stanley Cup champions, but the veteran forward will miss a ninth consecutive game with concussion-like symptoms.

Sharp sat out 14 games with similar symptoms earlier this season before returning Nov. 19. He then played the next six games before experiencing symptoms during a game at Pittsburgh on Dec. 1, which was the last time he played.

"Yeah, he obviously practiced full (Monday), so he's getting closer to a return," Ruff said.

Dallas is looking to rack up points at home during a five-game homestand and a month that will see them play nine times at home. The Stars are 2-1-0 during the homestand thus far.
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Blues • The Blues are 1-1 against the Stars this season, losing 6-2 at Dallas on Nov. 3 and winning at Scottrade Center 4-3 in overtime on Nov. 28. The teams meet again on Jan. 7 and then are done for the season. … The Blues’ road penalty kill of 92.3 percent is the second-best in the league. … Jake Allen will start in goal.

Stars • Dallas has won two of its last three, all with Antti Niemi in goal. The Stars’ team goals-against average of 3.04 ranks 26th in the league. … Tyler Seguin is eighth in the league in points with 32 (10 goals, 22 assists). … Center Cody Eakin is serving a four-game suspension for charging Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. … Stars rookie Devin Shore has five goals and eight assists.

Injuries • Blues — D Robert Bortuzzo (lower body) is out. Stars – F Mattias Janmark (knee), F Ales Hemsky (hip) are out. F Patrick Sharp (concussion) and D Johnny Oduya (lower body) are day-to-day.


This day in history:
1968 and 1969 Jacques Plante has shutouts in back-to-back years on same night - '68 vs Oakland Seals 1-0 and '69 vs Flyers 3-0
1973 Montreal Canadien Henri Richard scores his 1,000th NHL point
1983 Guy Lafleur, Montreal, became 10th NHLer to score 500 goals
1985 Denis Potvin passes Bobby Orr for most points by NHL Defenseman (916 points)
1989 Brett Hull scored his 3rd career hat trick in 9-6 loss to Blackhawks
1991 NHL grants permanent membership to Tampa Lightning & Ottawa Senators
2000 Pavol Demitra has 5 point night with a hat trick and two assists in 6-3 Win vs NY Rangers

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:13 am 
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I predict we play around 40 minutes of hockey then give up another few 3rd period goals.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:05 pm 
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Lucky goal by Schwartz to tie it at 1-1. But I'll take it, with The Blues on their heels and Pietrangelo out.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:00 pm 
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Nice hard shot by Hunt!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:22 pm 
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Great backhand shot by Berglund!!! It stands up, as the Blue was pushed, and the puck was by Niemi, anyway. Blues tie it at 2!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:18 pm 
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Great save by Allen to preserve the tie and one point, with 3 seconds left. Good play by Perron to get it out of trouble.

Now let's get that extra point in OT!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:22 pm 
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Perron with a beautiful wraparound! Good choice, instead of trying to go back towards the net on thew same side!

Blues steal 2 points in Dallas!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:00 am 
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Couldn't watch the game live, but notes taken while watching as it unfolded follow:

Panger, lease don't mention a perfect PK during a PK. Wait until they've killed the current one before jinxing it.

Why is Ty Rattie on the NHL roster? 4 games played, 29 minutes total ice time, while Jaskin and Yakupov not producing continue to rotate. If he isn't good enough to outplay either of those two, send him back to Chicago.

#17 Goal off 5-man entry, not stretch pass - forcing Dallas to respect entire width of ice and depth behind the entry man - which doesn't happen on stretch plays. Over reliance on stretch plays has been Blues bane last 3 games.

1st period - Blues wingers still way too passive in defensive zone defending points.

Stop the presses. #23 serves "Too many men" minor penalty, instead of Fabbri. Is that the first time this season?

2nd period zone time heavily favored the Stars in spite of 1 penalty going each team's way.

For Panger, this was the 3rd game in a row the Blues have struggled in 2nd period in terms of zone time. Where is the offensive pressure on the opponent in the 2nd period? Hasn't happened outside of the Devils games the last few games.

Last 5 minutes of 2nd - Blues turned up pressure after the Fabbri chance setup by a "ta da" 5 man entry resulting in a 3-on-2. Blues maintained pressure with o-zone faceoff leading to fantastic goal by #21.

Blues were fortunate to be tied after 2 with the amount of o-zone pressure the Stars applied in 2nd.

Blues looked like a better team in 3rd with the "open" game with back and forth flow as opposed to the closed game we all know Hitchcock, Wilson, and Yeo prefer.

Blues had chance to win in 3rd after offensive zone faceoff and puck going behind net, but when puck reached the point, NO ONE WAS ANY NEAR A SCORING POSITION!!! Way to go "don't get too low" mantra.

Awesome work by Schwartz in OT to earn the win on the Perron goal. If other Blues wingers worked as hard as Schwartz in the Blues end, the 2nd period zone time opponents are dominating would end.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:44 am 
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Totally nitpicky here, but - I agree - Schwartz's effort in front of the goal in OT led directly to Perron's scoring chance and goal. Was hoping to see 57 acknowledge that a little bit in the on ice celebration or in the his post game TV interview with Panger.

Just looking for some sort of unselfish team chemistry talk.

Maybe it's no big deal...I dunno.

I love the WIN, though!


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