OT power play keys St. Louis Blues' win over Dallas Stars

By Rob Rains, The Sports Xchange  |  Feb. 17, 2016 at 1:38 AM
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ST. LOUIS -- Even though the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars were a combined 0-for-11 on the power play in regulation Tuesday night, Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk had a feeling it would be different in overtime.

He was right.

An interference penalty on Stars defenseman Jason Demers with 14 seconds remaining in the third period put the Blues on a four-on-three power play to start the overtime, and Shattenkirk scored 1:11 into the extra session to give the Blues a 2-1 victory.

In addition to putting the Blues on the power play, the late penalty on Demers wiped out the final seconds of a power play for the Stars, who had received a man advantage when Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson was called for high-sticking with 2:03 to go.

"I looked at the clock and realized we only had about 10 seconds left, and we all kind of knew we were going to go four-on-three to start the overtime period," Shattenkirk said. "We did a good job of going right to the board and figuring out what we were going to do."

The Blues, 4-0-1 in their last five games, pulled within five points of the Central Division-leading Stars, who had won their previous four games.

St. Louis (33-17-9) killed off seven power plays for Dallas, the highest scoring team in the league, including four in the first period when the Stars had a total of three shots on goal.

The Stars (37-15-6) finished the game with a season-low 18 shots on goal and managed just four shots on goal on their seven power plays.

"We were able to work on them early and frustrate them," Shattenkirk said. "You could see that kind of frustrate them later in the game when they had power plays. They were kind of overthinking it a little bit. We stayed with it, we know they are a power play that can answer the bell at any time, and we were able to keep some of their weapons from having a big game."

The success on the penalty kill was nothing new for the Blues, who have killed off 34 of their past 36 penalties over the past nine games.

The Blues took a 1-0 lead 12 seconds into the second period when left winger Jaden Schwartz, playing in his first home game since the season opener on Oct. 8 after missing 49 games with a broken ankle, scored off a lucky bounce. The puck deflected off referee Kelly Sutherland right to him in front of an empty net. Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen had left the net, thinking the puck was going behind the cage.

"I didn't see what happened," Schwartz said. "I was skating and the puck landed on my stick. It was a really fortunate bounce and then a pretty easy goal."

St. Louis goalie Brian Elliott protected the 1-0 lead until Dallas was able to score off a rebound with 6:34 left in the third period. Center Mattias Janmark collected his 13th goal of the season.

The Stars had stayed in the game by killing off four St. Louis power plays in the second period.

"I thought we played a smart game," Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. "If our execution was a little better, I thought we would have come out of here with two (points). I thought we had three or four good looks in the third period. Elliott gave them a couple of big saves; our goalie gave us a couple of big saves. It was two good teams that played a pretty tight game."

The Stars came into the game ranked fifth in the NHL in power-play scoring percentage but have now scored on just one of 13 opportunities in their past three games.

"There were a lot of good things we did during the game," Dallas right winger Ales Hemsky said. "It comes down to our power play stepping up and scoring a goal and burying a couple of chances we had. It could have gone either way."

NOTES: G Jake Allen participated in the Blues' morning skate, facing shots for the first time since sustaining a knee injury on Jan. 8. Allen is on injured reserve, and the team has not projected when he might be ready to return. ... Blues LW Scottie Upshall played in his 600th NHL game. ... RW Dmitrij Jaskin and LW Magnus Paajarvi were healthy scratches for the Blues. ... RW Curtis McKenzie was inserted into the Dallas lineup in place of C Colton Sceviour. McKenzie's only previous game this season was on Oct. 15. McKenzie was recalled from AHL Texas on Sunday. ... Stars C Jason Spezza missed his sixth consecutive game due to an upper-body injury. He might be able to play Saturday, the team announced. ... The Stars conclude a three-game trip Thursday at Arizona, while the Blues host the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

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