-Photo by Ryan Leopando / Arch City Sports
After a losing three straight games heading before Christmas, the Blues failed to rebound against the Dallas Stars as Dallas topped St. Louis 4-3.
After allowing five goals in just two periods in his last start, Jake Allen got off to a shaky start. The puck was sent in deep as Allen went behind his net to play the puck, but failed to get control. Allen coughed the puck up as it slid right to the stick of Travis Moen who easily put the puck in the empty net to give the Stars a 1-0 lead with 17:52 remaining in the first period.
Then just 27 seconds later, the Blues responded.
Paul Stastny picked up the puck along the boards and fired it on goaltender Kari Lehtonen who kicked out a rebound right to Alex Pietrangelo. Pietrangelo fired it right back, but this time, into the back of the net. The goal was Pietrangelo’s 4th of the season and tied the game at one.
The Stars were not done however, as they would retake the lead again late in the first period. A cross-ice pass in the defensive zone of the Blues by rookie blue-liner Petteri Linbohm was taken away by Ryan Garbutt. Garbutt was all alone and sent a slap shot into the back of the net for his 6th goal of the season.
As they did earlier in the period, the Blues responded. Just over a minute later Alexander Steen sent a drive wide to the left. The puck bounced off the end boards to Vladamir Tarasenko who beat Lehtonen for his 21st of the season. With the goal, Tarasenko now remains third in the NHL in goals as he trails Dallas’s Tyler Seguin by four goals. The goal tied the game at two, headed into the first intermission.
In the second period, Dallas would once again retake the lead as it was Seguin who got the puck to Trevor Daley. Daley delayed and got Pietrangelo to go to one knee before he shot the puck past Pietrangelo and Allen to give the Stars a 3-2 lead.
With the second period winding down, Erik Cole came out from the corner with the puck and slid it over to Jason Demers who came in from the blue line with Steve Ott failing to cover the middle of the ice. Demers scored to give Dallas a two-goal lead headed into the third period despite the Blues outshooting the Stars 21-18.
In the third period with the Blues needing a spark, the captain David Backes came through. Backes won the draw in the offensive zone as T.J. Oshie swooped in to corral the puck and sent it back to Backes behind the net. Backes sent a pass of the boards to the point where Jay Bouwmeester sent a wrist shot in on net. Backes returned to the front of the net and was able to deflect the shot into the back of the goal for his 9th of the season to cut the lead to one with 14:20 remaining in the third period.
The Blues and Stars traded opportunities later in the third. With under a minute remaining and trailing the a goal, Ken Hitchcock pulled Allen for an extra attacker. The Blues had a few chances by the net including one by Tarasenko by the goal line, but failed to capitalize as the Stars took the victory 4-3.
The Blues have now lost four straight games, but this was their first loss in regulation at home since Nov. 8 against the Nashville Predators. This game was the first win by the Stars against a Central Division opponent this season.
The Blues are tied for third place in the Central Division with Winnipeg and sit three points behind both Chicago and Nashville.
St. Louis will return to action Monday Dec. 29 at home against the Colorado Avalanche at 7 p.m. CT.