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Blues and Stars battle in Big D
(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues will attempt to begin the season with their fourth victory in five games when they visit the Dallas Stars for Saturday's clash at American Airlines Center.
The Blues have built a 3-1-0 record so far and have outscored the competition by a combined 15-6 score over that stretch. The club's lone loss was a 3-2 setback in Chicago on Tuesday, but St. Louis rebounded from the defeat with Thursday's shutout win against visiting Nashville.
Jaroslav Halak needed to make only 13 saves for his second shutout of the season and St. Louis scored a goal in each period to down the Predators by a 3-0 count.
T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Tarasenko lit the lamp for the Blues, who won the Central Division by five points over second-place Nashville in 2011-12.
"All in all, we've played pretty consistent," St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said.
Tarasenko leads all rookies with four goals and his six points through four games leaves him one behind Tampa Bay rookie Cory Conacher.
The Stars received some good news in the midst of Thursday's game against Chicago, but Dallas still wound up losing the home contest in overtime.
During the game, the Stars announced they had signed restricted free agent center Jamie Benn to a five-year contract worth $26.25 million. The 23-year- old Benn, who was tied for second on the club with 63 points in 2011-12, isn't expected to make his season debut until the Stars visit Columbus on Monday.
The Stars dropped a 3-2 OT decision to the Blackhawks as Marian Hossa scored the winner 1:41 into the extra session. The winning power-play goal came after Brenden Morrow was whistled for interference 22 seconds into overtime. Chicago's Patrick Kane fed Hossa with a slick turnaround backhand pass and he one-timed it past Kari Lehtonen.
Loui Eriksson and Ray Whitney each lit the lamp for the Stars, who had won two of three on the season entering Thursday's game. Lehtonen gave up all three goals on 41 shots.
"You know, the only reason we got a point was because of him," said Dallas head coach Glen Gulutzan about Lehtonen. "Got out played all night. Our goalie was real good."
Stars forward Jaromir Jagr sustained a back injury in the third period of Thursday's loss and is questionable for Saturday's game. The 40-year-old had two goals and two assists in the season opener but has failed to record a point since.
Dallas does expect to get defenseman Aaron Rome on the ice Saturday after he missed the first four tilts of the season with a groin injury. Rome signed a three-year deal to join Dallas in the offseason after spending the previous three campaigns in Vancouver.
The Blues took three of four from Dallas last season and St. Louis enters Saturday's meeting with a three-game winning streak in this series. The Stars had won three consecutive home games versus the Blues before dropping the last encounter at the AAC on April 7.
01/26 11:15:29 ET