Final SO

Series (Game 2 of 4)

St. Louis leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 24th
Game 2: Wednesday, November 25th
Game 3: Thursday, March 4th
Game 4: Saturday, April 3rd

Blues 4

(9-9-4, 22 pts)

Stars 3

(11-6-7, 29 pts)

Coverage: NBCSN

8:00 PM ET, November 25, 2009

American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

1 2 3 SO T
STL 2 0 1 14
DAL 2 0 1 03

D. Backes (Blues - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

T. Oshie (Blues - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

B. Richards (Stars - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Blues-Stars Preview


The Dallas Stars hadn't won two straight all season before surprisingly doing so without their leading goal scorer.

The Stars will welcome James Neal back to the lineup Wednesday night when they host the struggling St. Louis Blues, who are looking for their top scorers to step up.

Dallas (11-6-6) entered Saturday's game against New Jersey without consecutive victories and got bad news before the contest when the league announced that Neal was suspended for two games. Neal, who has a team-high 11 goals, was suspended for a boarding infraction that injured Columbus winger Derek Dorsett in Thursday's 4-1 loss.

The Stars responded with four assists from Brad Richards in a 5-3 victory over New Jersey and 22 saves from Marty Turco in a 2-0 win over Carolina on Monday. Richards and Jamie Benn each scored on the power play against the Hurricanes.

"There's been a lot of talk about not winning two in a row," Turco said. "We came out with an effort that deserved the win. We need to do that on a nightly basis."

Richards assisted on Benn's first-period goal before scoring in the third. The Stars killed four power plays, including 1:38 of a 5-on-3 early in the third.

"Special teams were huge tonight," captain Brenden Morrow said. "That was a big kill for us. Your goalie is always your best penalty killer and Marty made some big saves there."

Neal will be welcomed back after his 10-game point streak ended Thursday. The second-year winger had eight goals and seven assists during his run, scoring a goal in a 4-1 win at St. Louis on Oct. 24.

Richards had two assists in that game. He has never scored against the Blues, with nine assists in 10 contests.

The Blues (8-9-4) continue to be plagued by poor production from their leading scorers from last season, Brad Boyes and David Backes. The two have combined for five goals one season after totaling 64 to help St. Louis reach the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.

Neither scored Monday in a 4-2 loss to Boston.

"Some of our guys who we need to finish, again didn't get it done for us," coach Andy Murray said. "My understanding of our team is you expect these guys who you count on to get the job done. I keep expecting that."

St. Louis completed a 3-3-0 homestand Monday, failing in a bid for its first three-game win streak.

The Blues allowed two power-play goals -- a rare special-teams breakdown for a club that ranks fifth in penalty killing at 83.2 percent.

"There's no excuse to be pushed around in your own building," goaltender Chris Mason said. "I think we're working hard. We just have to do better."

Keith Tkachuk and defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo scored for St. Louis, which plays five of its next six on the road.