Stars @ Blues, Game 23: Lines, Notes, How to Watch
The Dallas Stars have seen their play dip over the past couple of weeks. But Jason Robertson’s streak and some big comebacks have allowed them to remain atop the Central Divison standings as they take on the St. Louis Blues for the first time on Monday.
Dallas Stars @ St. Louis Blues
7:00pm CT @ Enterprise Center: St. Louis, MO
How to Watch: Bally Sports Southwest, ESPN+ (local blackouts)
On Monday, Stars forward Jason Robertson was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week for the second time this month.
Robertson’s 18 goals lead the NHL and he sits only one point behind Connor McDavid in the Art-Ross race. His 15-game point streak has been the driving force but the Dallas Stars look to get back in the win column against the St. Louis Blues on Monday.
Monday will be the fifth straight game for Dallas within the Central Division (1-1-2). It will also be the first matchup against St. Louis, and the two teams will not play again until the final two games of the regular season.
Dallas still holds down the top spot, while the Blues are fourth in a wild Central Divison.
“This is going to go right down to the end of the year,” Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said. “It’s a tough, tough division. Not surprised. We've got to take it one night at a time and just try to win a game tonight.”
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The Stars have seen a dip in their play over the last couple of weeks, but Robertson’s heroics, along with the ‘Bennasaince’ of Jamie Benn, allowed them to earn points in seven straight games. The streak ended in the 4-1 loss to Colorado on Saturday.
Lineup changes: DeBoer will be mixing up his lineup in St. Louis, which comes as no surprise with the Stars needing big comebacks to secure points over the last week.
The biggest change includes the rotating third on the second line, where Radek Faksa will step in and center Tyler Seguin and Mason Marchment. Faksa is now the fifth forward to fill in a spot on that line.
“Some lines, I’ve liked and have been consistently productive, and some lines we are still searching for,” DeBoer said.”
The second line is atop the list of those looking for a spark. Marchment and Seguin both began the year on a roll but Seguin now has just two goals in his last 18 games while Marchment has three in his last 13. DeBoer has mentioned the potential of that group and hopes to find the spark to bring it all together.
The newest approach will be sliding in a much more defensively-focused player that has seen their production increase as of late.
“One: you’re going to start with the puck because he wins draws,” DeBoer said of what Faksa can bring to the line. “It gives you a lefty and a righty centerman on both sides. He’s really solid in his own end and on puck retrievals and possession in the offensive zone, he’s one of our top four or five players. He’s going to go get it and get those guys some offensive zone time, which they’ve got to get in order to produce.”
“[Faks] deserves the opportunity.”
On the blue line, youngster Nils Lundkvist will come out for the first time this season. The 22-year-old has struggled to produce offensively, with only one goal and five points all season.
“Young defenseman. We’ve moved guys in and out before,” DeBoer said. “We took Mills [Colin Miller] out for a night. Three in four, sometimes it’s good to take a step back and reset.”
Starting goaltender: Jake Oettinger will start for the 14th time in the first 22 games. Oettinger is 8-2-3 with a .917 save percentage and 2.52 goals-against average.
Stars Projected Lines
- Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz – Joe Pavelski
- Mason Marchment – Radek Faksa – Tyler Seguin
- Jamie Benn – Wyatt Johnston – Ty Dellandrea
- Joel Kiviranta – Luke Glendening – Denis Gurianov
- Ryan Suter- Miro Heiskanen
- Esa Lindell – Jani Hakanpaa
- Joel Hanley – Colin Miller
- Jake Oettinger
- Scott Wedgewood
Blues Scouting Report
The St. Louis Blues have been ‘wildy unpredictable’ according to their media and what they have shown within the standings this season.
After starting the season 3-0-0, St. Louis lost eight in a row in regulation, six of which came by three or more goals. Since then, they have a record of 8-2-0.
So how do you look at the team when preparing?
“I think they’ve worked through that. I think that’s in the rearview mirror,” DeBoer said of their losing ways early in the year. “When you look at their body of work recently, they are back to what they should be.”
Since their eight-game skid, the Blues have scored 39 goals in 10 games (3.9 per game).
Robert Thomas** (4 goals, 19 points), Jordan Kyrou (9 goals, 18 points), and Brayden Schenn (6 goals, 17 points) lead the way for St. Louis, while Jordan Binnington and Thomas Greiss have put together a .902 save percentage in the pipes.
**The Blues will be without leading scorer Robert Thomas tonight due to an upper-body injury.
Jordan Binnigton is expected to start. The 29-year-old has mediocre numbers with a record of 9-7-0 and a 3.05 goals-against average.