Blues Look to Avoid 0-2 Deficit Against Stars

The top-seeded Dallas Stars have cleaned up their act after that frantic finish in the first round.

Now the St. Louis Blues, already down a game in their second-round series matching the Western Conference's top two teams, have to do the same. They have to get past their thrilling seven-game opening series against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

"We can't have that excuse in Game 2," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We are going to have to find a different energy, but we are going to have to really simplify our game in a better way."

After a 2-1 loss in the opener at Dallas, the Blues had only a day to get ready for Game 2 on Sunday (3 p.m. EDT, NBC).

"We weren't as good as we were against Chicago, and that's on us," Blues captain David Backes said. "That's on me to start and have guys going in the right direction."

Five days after their frenzied finish in their Game 6 clincher at Minnesota when they won 5-4 after taking a 4-0 lead into the third period, the Stars had a postseason-high 42 shots on goal in Game 1 against the Blues. Kari Lehtonen, the goalie in net to open both series, had 31 saves.

"The only thing we dealt with after the (Wild) series was we dealt with that 15 minutes," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "We completely turned that around. We stayed calm. We made plays. We had the puck more. We believed in how we were playing and I think it showed that we can play right through 60 minutes the same way."

Dallas will likely be without right wing Patrick Eaves, who late in the opener got hit on the lower leg by a teammate's shot and struggled to get off the ice before hobbling to the locker room.

Eaves has five points (two goals and three assists) in the playoffs, trailing only Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza on the Stars.

Ruff on Saturday described Eaves "as questionable unless it comes around, but it's awfully sore."


Predators at Sharks, San Jose leads 1-0, 8 p.m. EDT (NBCSN)

If Nashville learned one lesson from the Game 1 loss it might have been the importance of staying out of the penalty box.

The Sharks turned a pair of power-play chances into goals in a five-goal third period that gave them a 5-2 victory over the Predators in Game 1 of their series.

"We all know how effective they are on the power play," Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm said. "We have to make sure we don't put ourselves in that position too many times in the next game. I thought that power-play goal in the third really got them started. Then it just kept rolling for them after that."

The Sharks have relied heavily on the power play this postseason, converting on 7 of 24 chances (29 percent). The top unit of Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture has done most of the damage with Couture scoring the eventual game winner in the opener. But the second unit has chipped in as well with Tomas Hertl tying the game early in the third.

San Jose had the third-ranked power play in the regular season and has scored with the man advantage in four of its five wins this postseason.

The sharp power play helped the Sharks shake off some early rust after having six days off before Game 1. Coach Peter DeBoer hopes the rest of his team's game gets up to speed Sunday.

"I saw some of the effects of that the first two periods," DeBoer said. "To be able to come out of Game 1 with a win even though we didn't play our best 60 minutes is good because we'll be better in Game 2."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us