Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro and Jere Lehtinen scored power-play goals against some shaky St. Louis goaltending, and the Stars extended their winning streak to six games with a 6-2 victory over the Blues on Saturday night.
Dallas set a season high for scoring power-play goals after entering the night 9-for-78 with the man advantage since Jan. 1, with the Stars notching their three man-advantage goals on only three shots.
The Stars were in the top five in the league in power-play efficiency for much of the early season, but they’d fallen to 13th at the start of play on Saturday. Dallas is first in the league in killing penalties, and now the Stars want their power play to catch up.
“The last few games, we’ve been passing it on the power play,” Ribeiro said. “Tonight, we shot. When you shoot, you get a lot more chances. Our penalty-kill and goaltending have been great all season. But our power play has been in a big slump, so tonight was good for our confidence.”
Antti Miettinen had two goals and Jussi Jokinen also scored for the Stars, 9-2 in their last 11 games. Mike Smith stopped 27 shots in his second straight start in place of No. 1 goaltender Marty Turco, out with a sore neck.
Getting goals from five different players is a typical game for the Stars.
“That’s who we are as a team,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “Scoring by committee, that’s the way we play. When we’re clicking, we’re going to get a lot of people contributing. It makes us a hard team to play against.”
Legace was weakened by a case of the flu, and coach Andy Murray wanted to rest his top goalie.
“We didn’t want to have to play him,” Murray said. “He was sick.”
Toivonen made five tough stops in the first 4 minutes, but Morrow’s sharp-angle shot from low in the right circle got between the goalie and the left post at 5:02 of the first period. Morrow’s team-high 24th goal came while Mayers was serving a holding-the-stick penalty.
Jokinen made it 2-0 at 2:11 of the second period on a shot from the slot that glanced into the net off Toivonen’s stick for Jokinen’s 13th goal.
Ribeiro’s 23rd on a one-timer from the right circle at 5:30 of the second period stretched Dallas’ lead to 3-0.
McClement got the Blues on the board at 9:45, beating Smith from close range for his sixth goal.
After Miettinen scored from the slot through Toivonen’s pads at 12:06, Murray sent Legace into the game.
“We focused on getting pucks to the net,” Miettinen said. “Their goaltender let a couple of easy ones in. But he made some good saves, too.”
Mayers took advantage of Ribeiro’s turnover to register his ninth goal on a solo rush at 18:01, narrowing the deficit to 4-2.
Lehtinen’s power-play deflection for his eighth goal and Miettinen’s 12th goal—setting a new career high—moved Dallas’ lead to 6-2 in the third period.
Murray refused to say whether Toivonen or his penalty-killing unit was responsible for allowing the Stars three goals on four power-play chances.
“I’m not going to play the blame game,” Murray said.
The Stars were without D Sergei Zubov (groin, foot) and D Philippe Boucher (shoulder). Boucher, who has resumed practice, has been out since Dec. 5. … D Eric Brewer played his first game as Blues captain. Brewer was appointed captain on Friday. … LW Martin Rucinsky (shoulder), D Christian Backman (foot) and RW Mike Johnson (shoulder) were out for St. Louis.