Blues get swept by Stars in home-and-home series

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The St. Louis Blues finished the regular season with a home-and-home series against the Dallas Stars. The Blues’ final home game was on April 12th, and the regular-season finale was on April 13th. The Blues had nothing to play for, while the Stars fought for first place in the Central Division.

If you follow the Blues or the Stars, you’re probably wondering why the back-to-back home-and-home was scheduled to wrap up the 2022-23 NHL season. I don’t have a definite answer, but I can speculate the NHL schedule-makers might’ve thought these two teams would fight for playoff positioning. After all, St. Louis and Dallas have a storied playoff history dating back to 1967, when both teams were parts of the NHL’s first round of expansion. The Dallas Stars were based in Bloomington, Minnesota, as the Minnesota North Stars, from 1967 to 1993.

The Blues’ final home game was a back-and-forth affair with the Stars. The Blues lost 5-2 to the Stars, which allowed the latter to take the Central Division lead. Blues goaltender Joel Hofer made 32 saves in a losing effort, while Stars goaltender Scott Wedgewood made 16 saves for a win.

The Stars got on the board first. Wyatt Johnston scored his 22nd goal of the season, giving the Stars a 1-0 lead 5:49 into the first period. Jakub Vrana scored a power-play goal, his 11th of the season, to tie the game 1-1 less than two minutes later. The Stars took a 2-1 lead on Joe Pavelski’s 28th goal of the season with 56 seconds left in the first period. The game was tied again, 2-2, when Robert Thomas scored his 18th goal of the season — just 36 seconds later.

The Stars took control in the second period and capitalized on the Blues’ poor penalty kill, which allowed three goals. Roope Hintz scored a power-play goal, his 37th of the season, for a 3-2 lead 4:48 into the second period. Wyatt Johnston scored his second goal of the game and 23rd of the season on the power play to extend the Stars’ lead to 4-2 — just 48 seconds later. Tyler Seguin added a power-play goal, his 21st of the season, with 43 seconds left in the second period.

No goals were scored in the third period, so Wyatt Johnston fell short of a hat trick on the road.

The Blues visited the Stars’ American Airlines Center the following day.

Unlike the first game of the home-and-home, the second game between the two teams was a low-scoring affair. The Blues lost 1-0 to the Stars. Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger stopped all 25 shots for a win, while Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington stopped 33 of 34 shots in a losing effort.

The Stars defeated the Blues in a 1-0 shutout, but they had to wait for the conclusion of the Colorado Avalanche vs. Winnipeg Jets to clinch the Central Division title. The Avalanche beat the Jets 4-2 at Ball Arena, so the Stars held a one-point lead and will win the title if Colorado loses to the Nashville Predators on Friday.

Neither team scored in the first and second periods, but the Stars finally opened the scoring when Wyatt Johnson scored his 24th goal of the season 3:45 into the third period.

Let’s keep in touch during the offseason. Follow me on Twitter @AnaKieu.

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Ana Kieu

Ana Kieu is a journalist. She grew up as a sports fan and her love for sports shows in her writing and podcasting work. She writes about the NHL for Inside The Rink.

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