The Dallas Stars imposed their speed game on the St. Louis Blues in Game 1, outskating their opponent and peppering goaltender Brian Elliott en-route to a 2-1 victory.
The Stars (a group that finished the regular season with the best offense in the NHL) started the game hot and continued to pour it on, outshooting the Blues 14-6 in the first period and then 17-11 in the second period. Overall Dallas outshot the Blues 42-32.
Blues goaltender Brian Elliott kept St. Louis steady, stopping 40 of 42 shots on goal, but ultimately couldn’t keep the powerful Dallas attack from grabbing a 1-0 series lead. Game 2 is Sunday at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
“Well, look, they are the number one scoring team in the league for a reason," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "They have great speed, but we don’t have to feed it all the time. And that is what we did too much today. Fed them way too much.”
At the 15:16 mark of the third period, Stars forward Radek Faksa converted in front of Elliott for the game-winning goal. This gave Dallas back some momentum after the Blues gained some advantage after the Blues grabbed some following their tying goal.
"It’s the first game; it’s very important for us. You want a good start," Faksa said. "We had a good back check and didn’t give up many chances to them. I think it was a great start for us.”
At the 11:32 mark of the third St. Louis defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk rifled a shot over Kari Lehtonen to tie the game at 1-1. The Blues then put together a push with opportunities by defenseman Colton Parayko and forwards Steve Ott and Scottie Upshall but all couldn’t convert.
Antoine Roussel started the scoring midway through the second period for the Stars when he put a puck past Elliott off a scrum to make it 1-0.
After ice-time squabbles in the first-round between St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock and sniper Vladimir Tarasenko, the coach played the forward 21:04 in Game 1. Tarasenko, who scored 40 goals during the regular season, didn't xcore and fired three shots on goal.
“Obviously he’s one guy that we’ve got the radar on. We know when he’s out there and we want to make sure we don’t give him much ice," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "I thought, for the most part, we didn’t make any big mistakes that allowed any big rush plays when he was out there. We closed fast on him inside the zone. We went after him physically and he’s a tough, tough guy to knock off his feet but I thought we played him as hard as we could when it came to the physical front.”
The Stars were again without center Tyler Seguin, who will miss at least the first two games of this series with an Achilles injury. Seguin has only played one game this postseason because of the issue.
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