The St. Louis Blues halted a three-game slide by cooling off one of the league’s hottest teams and now will look to do the same against another opponent that had been on a roll. After an impressive road victory that ended Montreal’s five-game winning streak, St. Louis returns to Central Division play to host the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.
The Blues managed only four goals during the three-game skid before matching that total in the 4-3 win over the Canadiens, improving to 9-3-2 on the road. St. Louis has dropped three of its last four at home, but it knocked off Dallas 4-2 at Scottrade Center on Oct. 7 to post its fourth consecutive victory in the series. The resurgent Stars had its five-game winning streak snapped in a 5-2 home loss to Central-leading Nashville and now must regroup on the road against another division rival. “St. Louis is a great team, and it’s going to be tough to play in their building,” Dallas captain Jamie Benn said. “They’re pretty good at home, so we’ll have our hands full.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas), FSN Midwest (St. Louis), NHL.TV
ABOUT THE STARS (16-11-1): Starting netminder Ben Bishop, pulled from Tuesday’s loss after surrendering three goals on 15 shots, is dealing with a sore back and will not be available Thursday, putting Kari Lehtonen in line for his seventh start of the season. “We’re assuming he will be fine for the weekend, but he’s not on the trip,” coach Ken Hitchcock said of Bishop. Lehtonen gave up four goals in the loss at St. Louis in October to fall to 13-7-3 with a 2.26 goals-against average versus the Blues.
ABOUT THE BLUES (18-8-2): With St. Louis struggling offensively, coach Mike Yeo resisted the urge to reunite the line that carried the team for much of the early season and it paid off when Brayden Schenn completed a hat trick with the decisive goal in Montreal. Schenn is halfway to his career-best total of 26 goals, established with Philadelphia in 2015-16. Jaden Schwartz collected two assists Tuesday to boost his team-best total to 34 points, and also had a goal and an assist versus Dallas in October.
1. Dallas is 1-for-26 on the power play over the past eight games.
2. Blues G Jake Allen is 7-2-0 with a 2.29 goals-against average versus Dallas.
3. Stars F Antoine Roussel (illness), out the past three games, practiced Wednesday and said he felt fine.
PREDICTION: Blues 4, Stars 2