Dallas Stars

Blues hand Stars first shutout of season

The Stars’ Jamie Benn, left, tussles with the Blues’ David Backes on Saturday night. Backes had a goal and an assist in St. Louis’ 3-0 victory.
The Stars’ Jamie Benn, left, tussles with the Blues’ David Backes on Saturday night. Backes had a goal and an assist in St. Louis’ 3-0 victory. AP

David Backes had a goal and an assist, Jake Allen stopped 26 shots and the St. Louis Blues beat the Dallas Stars 3-0 on Saturday night in a battle of the top two teams in the Central Division..

Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan Reaves scored in the third period to help the Blues beat the Stars for the third consecutive time. It also ended St. Louis’ four-game losing streak at home to Dallas dating to Nov. 23, 2013.

Backes also got into a fight with Stars forward Jamie Benn in the first period, earning the Gordie Howe hat trick.

Antti Niemi stopped 23 of 26 shots for the Stars, but fell to 9-9 in his career against the Blues.

Backes deflected a shot from Alexanders Steen past Niemi on a power play two minutes into the game. It was Backes’ ninth of the season and helped the Blue cut the Stars’ division lead to eight points.

The Stars continue to lead the NHL with 46 points, three ahead of the Montreal Canadiens. Dallas had its leads in the Western Conference cut to six points by the Kings.

The Blues threw everything at the Stars early with Dallas playing the second game of a back-to-back. St. Louis outshots the Stars 17-5 in the first period. Dallas was coming off a 3-1 victory Friday over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Stars, who entered the game as the NHL scoring lead with an average of 3.48 goals a game, had not be shut out since March 27 of last season in Edmonton. It was only sixth loss in regulation for the Stars this season.

The loss was Dallas’ first in regulation in eight games. The Stars went 5-0-2 in their previous seven.

Dallas

0

0

0

0

St. Louis

1

0

2

3

First Period—1, StL, Backes 9 (Steen, Shattenkirk), 2:00 (pp). Penalties—Spezza, Dal (roughing), 1:26; Fiddler, Dal (high-sticking), 4:29; Steen, StL (hooking), 8:07; Ja.Benn, Dal, major (fighting), 17:19; Backes, StL, major (fighting), 17:19; Roussel, Dal, major (fighting), 18:28; Lindbohm, StL, major (fighting), 18:28.

Second Period—None. Penalties—Jaskin, StL (delay of game), 16:06.

Third Period—2, StL, Tarasenko 17 (Backes), 11:10. 3, StL, Reaves 1 (Upshall), 15:35. Penalties—Demers, Dal (high-sticking), 5:45; Parayko, StL (holding), 17:00; Eaves, Dal (roughing), 17:42; Pietrangelo, StL (slashing, roughing), 17:42; Roussel, Dal, double minor (roughing), 20:00.

Shots on Goal—Dal 5-11-10—26. StL 17-2-7—26. Power-plays—Dal 0 of 4; StL 1 of 3. Goalies—Dal, Niemi 12-5-2 (26 shots-23 saves). StL, Allen 13-6-2 (26-26). A—15,023 (19,150). T—2:33.

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