Blues Shut Down Stars With Comeback Win


The St. Louis Blues (48-23-7) defeated the Dallas Stars (37-31-10) 7-5 Friday night in Dallas.  The Blues entered the game following a big slump-busting win over the Calgary Flames the night before.  Dallas, on the other hand, last played on Monday which ended in a loss, also to the Flames.  This was the fifth of five regular-season meetings between the Blues and Stars with the series tied at two games a piece.

More from Bleedin' Blue

The Blues were still without key players Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko, who have been listed as day-to-day.  Barrett Jackman earned some time off as well, and took some much needed rest after taking a hit the night before that lead to over a dozen stitches and probably a large headache.  Coach Hitchcock went with his shuffled lines that helped the Blues win big over the Calgary Flames, with a few additional tweaks to the fourth line.

Since the Blues have clinched a playoff spot, all of their remaining games will help determine if they play a wild-card team or, alternatively, if they will have home-ice advantage in the first round.  After this win, the Blues have tied the Nashville Predators for first place in the Central division.  However, the Chicago Blackhawks sit at third with just one less point.  Every game is crucial.


The game started with an early hooking penalty to Jori Lehtera a minute in.  The Stars were able to easily set up and keep control of the puck throughout most of their power play.  The Blues managed to kill it but allowed three shots and hardly touched the puck.

The Blues found a little offense after coming off the penalty and evened out the play.  However at 6:15 Patrik Eaves put a shot into the net.  The officials determined that Brian Elliot was interfered with by Jason Spezza and denied the Stars the goal.

At 7:28, T.J. Oshie took the second penalty of the game, and went to the box for slashing.  The Blues held the Stars back a little better than the first power play and killed the time allowing a couple of shots.  They quickly regained their stride and continued an even battle with the Stars.

Then at 12:50 the Blues got a power play chance when Antoine Roussel was called for tripping.  They had a difficult time setting up, though, and left the power play without making much progress.  With a little over three minutes left the Blues gave up a breakaway to Tyler Seguin who missed his shot.

Apr 3, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Dmitrij Jaskin (23) watches the puck as center Patrik Berglund (not pictured) scores a goal past Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

At 17:42 the Blues set up in the Stars’ zone.  Patrik Berglund sent the puck back to Zbynek Michalek on the blue line who took a shot.  Berglund tipped it into the net to give the Blues a late 1-0 lead.  However, with ten seconds left Michalek tripped Travis Moen to give the Stars a rare penalty shot.  Moen scored on the shot to send to game into the second period tied at 1.

Fifteen seconds into the start of the second period Kevin Shattenkirk took a shot that Berglund tipped in for his second of the game.  Seventeen seconds later Jaden Schwartz scored the third goal of the game to take a 3-1 lead.  The Stars returned the effort, though, when Jamie Benn scored six seconds later to make the score 3-2 just 32 seconds into the period.  Shattenkirk, Dmitrij Jaskin, T.J. Oshie and Jay Bouwmeester earned the assists in the Blues’ goals.

Things slowed down over the next few minutes, though the teams got a little more rough with each other.  5:14 in Roussel went to the box for hooking Lehtera.  43 seconds into the the power play, Oshie went to the box for interference to nullify the Blues’ advantage.  At 7:14, the Blues had 43 seconds of a penalty to kill, which they did so with little incident.

Just over ten minutes in Seguin scored off a shot that bounced of Shattekirk’s shoulder to tie the game at 3.  The Stars increased their momentum over the next five minutes, giving the Blues few offensive chances.  At 14:40 Benn scored on a deflection to put the Stars ahead 4-3.  43 seconds later Roussel scored to increase the Stars’ lead 5-3.

Apr 3, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz (17) shoots the puck as Dallas Stars left wing Antoine Roussel (21) defends during the third period at the American Airlines Center. Schwartz scores a hat trick. The Blues won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With 25 seconds left in the period, the Blues carried the puck into the offensive zone and Schwartz scored off the post for his second of the game.  The Blues closed the lead 5-4, heading into the third period.

The third started with an evening of play and higher physicality from both teams.  Four minutes in, after the whistle, Steve Ott and Roussel earned matching minors for roughing.  Play went 4 on 4 for two minutes.  The Stars found a break a minuted in but Elliott made the save. At 4:44, Michalek scored on a shot that bounced off a Star skate to tie the game at 5.

At 7:56 Trevor Daley took an interference penalty to give the Blues their third power play.  After a rough start to the power play the Blues set up as time ran out.  Alex Pietrangelo spun and shot from the slot to score and give the Blues a 6-5 lead.  With a little less than seven minutes left, Schwartz took a hooking penalty.

The Stars challenged the Blues with their 5 on 4 advantage, but the Blues killed the penalty.  The Blues came back with with strong offense.  With 2:35 left, the Stars pulled their goalie.  The Blues held the Stars back and took a few shots at the empty net and eventually Schwartz scored to ensure a win at 7-5.


What a wonderful surprise Patrik Berglund has turned out to be for the St. Louis Blues.  For most of his career with the club, he has received some harsh criticism, with a lot of fans wondering why he wasn’t sent away at the trade deadline without a return address.  He has been the workhorse in the past three games with a goal and assist in the only two goals against the Canucks two games back, a goal and assist against the Flames a game prior and his two goals tonight.  Berglund is a confidence player and I think he found the right moment to believe in his abilities.  His plays aren’t flukes, either.  Bergie’s wrap-around feed to Jori Lehtera on Thursday could be a contender for the best Blues goal of the week.

Apr 3, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; St. Louis Blues center Patrik Berglund (21) celebrates after scoring the game winning goal against the Dallas Stars during the third period at the American Airlines Center. The Blues won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Blues need a player like Berglund to continue to shine while the other difference-makers return to the spotlight.  One of those players, Jaden Schwartz, sealed the game with his hat-trick empty net goal late in the third period.  Hopefully we’ll be talking about Schwartz in the same light as Berglund in a week’s time.  His performance was impressive, and hopefully he sustains it.

The organization as a whole has been in a rut so we’re seeing a lot of other players break out as well.  Jori Lehtera, T.J. Oshie and Dmitrij Jaskin to name a few.  Oshie had his hand in a lot of the goals this game, as did Jay Bouwmeester and Kevin Shattenkirk.  All of these players are the ones that fans, coaches and analysts expect to contribute to a win and they’ve come full force.

Hopefully, we are done with the days when the team had to rely on the STL or SOB, lines.  It is great to have a big-name player like Vladimir Tarasenko or Alexander Steen on your team racking up goals.  But let’s face it, when they go cold or get injured (as is the case now) a team is dead in the water without secondary support.

Of course, this game wasn’t the cleanest we’ve seen from the Blues.  Scoring 7 is great, but allowing 5 isn’t.  With a little tightening and a continued all-parts-working performance from the players; the Blues have a great chance of making it much deeper than the first round of the post-season.

More from Bleedin' Blue