Blues-Stars Preview

For the first time since Paul Stastny went down with an injury, coach Ken Hitchcock has reason to believe the St. Louis Blues can succeed without him.

After snapping its skid, St. Louis hits the road looking to avoid a fourth straight defeat to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.

Stastny, who signed a long-term deal with his hometown team in the offseason, is on injured reserve with a shoulder injury and there's no timetable for his return. The Blues (3-3-1) were outscored 7-1 in their first two games without him before beating Chicago 3-2 at home Saturday.

Jaden Schwartz scored his team-best fifth goal in the first period while Ryan Reaves and Dmitrij Jaskin - who was making his season debut - added goals in the final two minutes of the second.

"We took some steps (Saturday) that look a little like our team, look like the way we can play," Hitchcock said. "We've got something to build on now. We've got a foundation that we can draw information from that we can show the players. We've got some stuff that we can work with now."

The Blues were bounced out of the playoffs in six games in the first round by the Blackhawks last season, falling far short of their Stanley Cup aspirations. They came into this season with similar goals, but have struggled to find consistency.

St. Louis has yet to win back-to-back games and has been shut out in two of its three road contests.

''We hit a bit of a lull the last two games and we needed a great performance, and who better than our biggest rivals to bring it out of us,'' captain David Backes said. ''Guys put together a heck of a 60-minute effort.''

Dallas doesn't share the same sentiment after it was scored upon throughout in a 7-5 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday. The Stars (4-2-2) entered the contest having won four of five.

''We created more than enough chances, but we didn't adjust well enough,'' coach Lindy Ruff said. ''We did some good things and played hard, but we were inconsistent.''

Jamie Benn failed to score for the first time in six games, but had an assist on Tyler Seguin's second-period goal and has five goals and five assists in that stretch.

Seguin has recorded six goals and seven assists during his own six-game point streak.

"(Saturday), the four lines played as good as I thought they could play," Ruff said. "Defending-wise, we might have given up a few less chances than (in Friday's 3-2 shootout win over New Jersey). We had the puck a lot. We created more than enough to win a game, but we didn't win it."

Anders Lindback had a shaky outing against the Islanders, and No. 1 goaltender Kari Lehtonen is expected back in net for this contest. The Stars took the final three meetings with the Blues last season, with Lehtonen winning two while stopping 55 of 57 shots, including a 22-save shutout April 11.

Brian Elliott made 22 saves for St. Louis on Saturday and is 2-2-1 with a 1.78 goals-against average in five starts. He's won his last three outings against Dallas with a 1.30 GAA.

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