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Blues try to extend win total in meeting with Stars
(SportsNetwork.com) - Chasing just their second ever Presidents' Trophy, the St. Louis Blues look to match their highest single-season win total in franchise history on Saturday night when they host the Dallas Stars.
The Blues have gone 11-2-1 in their last 14 games and lead the NHL with 107 points. That is one more than the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins with nine games to play for both teams.
St. Louis and Boston are the only two clubs to reach 50 wins so far this season, with the Blues doing so thanks to Thursday's 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
T.J. Oshie netted the first hat trick of his career to pace the offense. His effort came one game after David Backes recorded a three-goal performance in Tuesday's win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jaden Schwartz and Brenden Morrow also tallied for the current Western Conference leaders, who won the opener of a five-game residency and have points in 10 straight at home (8-0-2).
"We're really focusing on playing team hockey right now and it's showing with the results we've had," said Oshie. "Three of them happened to come from my stick, but the next game it will be someone else."
This current edition of the Blues is just the second to reach 50 wins in a season. St. Louis notched 51 victories in 1999-2000, the only season it has previously won a Presidents' Trophy.
Ryan Miller made 27 saves for the Blues and is expected to start again tonight. He is 4-1-1 with a 2.75 goals against average in his career versus the Stars, who are battling for a playoff berth in the West.
Dallas is currently three points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the second of two wild card spots. The Stars do have a game in hand over the Coyotes, who play host to the conference's other wild card team, the Minnesota Wild, on Saturday.
The Stars have followed up a four-game slide with victories in three of their last four. That includes last night's 7-3 win over the Nashville Predators as seven different Dallas skaters lit the lamp.
Trevor Daley, Alex Chiasson, Ryan Garbutt, Cody Eakin, Colton Sceviour, Vernon Fiddler and Valeri Nichushkin all lit the lamp, while Alex Goligoski didn't score but ended with three assists. Kari Lehtonen gave up three goals on 28 shots.
"We've had a couple of games in our pocket going into tonight," said Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff. "I said yesterday that we're just going to worry about playing one game at a time and not look any further than that. We got the game we wanted and now we have to go out and get the game tomorrow."
Dallas has lost four straight on the road and begins a five-game swing tonight.
Lehtonen is 8-4-1 with a 1.99 GAA in his career versus the Blues, bud Ruff could go with backup Tim Thomas to close out games on back-to-back nights. Thomas, though, is just 2-2-2 with a 3.07 GAA in his career against St. Louis.
The Blues have won two of three versus the Stars this season and seven of the previous nine encounters overall.
Dallas did win the most recent matchup 3-2 in overtime at St. Louis on March 11, snapping a four-game series road losing streak.
03/29 10:51:11 ET