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Stars Vs. Blues: Dallas Returns Home, Looks For Second Straight Win

(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues hope to pick up a fourth straight victory this evening in the opener of a home-and-home series with the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

A seven-game win streak from Oct. 22-Nov. 7 had the Blues among the leaders in the Western Conference, but the club lost some ground thanks to a 0-4-1 slide from Nov. 10-17. St. Louis has won three straight since, including a 2-1 shootout triumph in Nashville on Wednesday.

Andy McDonald scored just nine seconds into the game for the Blues -- one tick off the club record for fastest goal to start a game -- and then had the only goal of the shootout. Jaroslav Halak made McDonald's efforts stand up with 29 saves while stopping all five Nashville skaters in the shootout.

"He made a lot of key saves for us, especially right there at the end of the third period," said St. Louis' Barret Jackman. "They had some big opportunities and he shut the door and gave us an opportunity to win it."

Jackman was playing for the first time in 10 games due to a knee injury.

McDonald has four goals and 10 points over his last seven games, while Brad Boyes' assist extended his point streak to six games. He has four goals and four helpers over that run.

The Stars ended a two-game slide on Wednesday with a tight 2-1 victory over the Senators, just the club's third victory in its last eight games. Brenden Morrow scored the go-ahead goal in the third frame and backup goaltender Andrew Raycroft made 18 saves.

"I was able to get in front of a couple and not give anything bad up and we got a win," said Raycroft.

Trevor Daley also scored for the Stars, who return home after two road games and are 5-0-1 in their last six at home. Dallas hasn't lost in regulation as the host since Oct. 28.

Dallas was without Mark Fistric due to a lower-body injury suffered in practice on Tuesday, while Krys Barch left Wednesday's game with a lower-body issue of his own. Both skaters are questionable.

The Blues had won three straight and six of eight over the Stars, including two in a row in Dallas, before a 3-2 shootout setback at American Airlines Center on Oct. 16. Loui Eriksson scored in both regulation and the shootout, while Kari Lehtonen made 41 saves.

Lehtonen is 3-1-0 with a 1.71 goals-against average in his career versus the Blues.

McDonald scored for St. Louis and Ty Conklin made 23 stops.

Halak has never faced the Stars, who visit St. Louis on Saturday.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.