|5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST5:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30 BRT, November 29, 2019
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas Attendance: 18,532
Motivated Stars set for showdown vs. champion Blues
Going a full month between regulation-time losses has the Dallas Stars nipping at the heels of the Central Division-leading St. Louis Blues.
In fact, as the teams meet on Friday in Dallas, the Stars are only four points back of the defending Stanley Cup champions, who sit atop the Western Conference.
As if the Stars didn't have enough motivation to regroup after a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, which snapped a franchise record-tying seven-game winning streak and 12-game run in which they posted an 11-0-1 mark.
"We've worked hard to dig ourselves out of that (1-7-1) hole and put us in a good position at Thanksgiving," Stars forward Joe Pavelski said. "Now it's about getting right back after it and playing the same type of hockey we've been playing."
Even including that loss to Chicago, a game in which Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford made 32 saves and the Stars appeared to run out of gas, Dallas has torn up the league and looked every bit of the team that prognosticators were expecting before the campaign began. Dallas scored 47 goals in those dozen games and has become a top-four team in goals against and boasts a top-five penalty kill.
Against the Blackhawks, though, the Stars were showing the signs of having played three games in four nights.
"I thought our effort was there, ... our execution wasn't great," coach Jim Montgomery said. "Sometimes, that's what happens when you are mentally tired. It's not an excuse, but it's a fact."
Montgomery added: "Everybody goes through it in the league. You accept your fate and you move on."
The Blues arrive in the Lone Star State after a 4-3 road win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, their second win over the Lightning in eight days.
"I thought it was a good hockey game all around," coach Craig Berube said. "Back and forth. We played well. It was a good game. I thought our penalty kill was good (3-for-4). I know we gave up the one, but for the most part it kept them off the scoreboard. Big power-play goal for us in the third. Overall, a pretty solid game."
St. Louis has just two regulation-time losses in the last 15 games (10-2-3) and is unbeaten in 60 minutes in the last eight road games (6-0-2).
However, the Tampa win came at a cost. After he scored twice, Oskar Sundqvist left the game due to an injury and was seen needing crutches after the clash. Sundqvist has been red hot, with five goals in the past five games.
"He's an effective player even when he's not putting points up," goalie Jordan Binnington told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "So he's tough to lose but hopefully it's nothing too serious."
The Blues are also without key forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen due to injury, yet, they keep on winning.
"It goes back to we're a team," Zach Sanford said. "Everyone on this team from top to bottom can step up and maybe take over a little more of a role or change their role a little bit to help the team be successful. We've been doing a good job with it."
--Field Level Media
Updated November 28, 2019