Stars Lose To Blues

DALLAS — For the second time in their second-round playoff series with the Dallas Stars, the St. Louis Blues led 3-1 after two periods.

Unlike Game 2 when the Blues won 4-3 in overtime last Sunday, St. Louis held this lead and won 4-1 for a 3-2 series lead at American Airlines Center on Saturday afternoon.

Robby Fabbri and Paul Stastny each had a goal and an assist for the Blues, and Brian Elliott stopped 27 of 28 shots.

Dmitrij Jaskin scored the eventual game-winner for the Blues, collecting his own rebound to score his first career playoff goal midway through the second period. Jaskin was appearing in his first game of the postseason.

“Our feeling was that with a real short turnaround and the way we were in the third period energy-wise, with the exertion that we need to play at, we thought we would early in the game need four lines and that turned out to be right,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of the decision to insert Jaskin into the lineup for Game 5.

Troy Brouwer also scored for the Blues, who won

two straight games in Dallas and will host Game 6 on Monday.

Alex Goligoski scored the lone goal for Dallas.

“We got to cash in (on our chances),” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “We hit some posts, we hit a crossbar, we missed a couple point blank.”

St. Louis struck first when Fabbri scored his second goal of the playoffs 6:00 into the game off a deflection. Fabbri’s wrist shot from the left circle deflected in off the right skate of Stars rookie forward Brett Ritchie.

“They got a bounce on their first goal,” Ruff said. “That’s just puck luck, sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t.”

Dallas tied it at 10:58 of the first period when Goligoski scored his fourth goal of the playoffs. Goligoski received a pass from Vernon Fiddler and beat Elliott high to the far post on a wrist shot from the edge of the left circle. Goligoski scored five goals for the Stars during the regular season.

It was a 1-1 game after 20 minutes.

Jaskin scored his first career playoff goal 10:34 into the second period. Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen denied Jaskin’s wrist shot from the slot, but Jaskin flicked the rebound in to make it 2-1. Jaskin last played April 7 against Chicago.

“I think it’s great,” Jaskin said of returning to the lineup. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for three, four weeks. I found out this morning and I was ready.”

St. Louis went ahead 3-1 with 2:18 remaining in the second when Brouwer scored his fourth of the playoffs. Stars defenseman Kris Russell blocked Stastny’s initial shot near the far post and the puck deflected over to Brouwer, who scored at the near post although Brouwer’s goal wasn’t on the hardest of shots.

Blues led 3-1 after two periods.

Elliott made two huge saves on Cody Eakin, who scored the game-winner in overtime in Game 4 on Thursday, early in the third. Elliott turned away Eakin’s one-time slap shot from near the far post with a pad save at 3:52. Elliott then denied Eakin’s attempt to score off the rebound two seconds later.

“I thought (Brian) Elliott was pretty good tonight,” Stars captain Jamie Benn said. “He made some huge saves.”

Dallas got the first power play of the game 4:38 into the third when Blues captain David Backes was called for holding. The Stars failed to convert on either opportunity in the third period, making them 1-for-16 on the power play in the series.

Lehtonen stopped 18 of 21 shots in a losing effort for Dallas. Lehtonen first left the ice with 3:50 remaining and after briefly returning, left for a second time with 2:36 left.

Stastny added an empty-net goal with 1:40 remaining to ice the win for the visitors.

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