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Steen, Perron score PP goals as Blues top Stars

Saturday, April 7, 2012 | 9:53 p.m. CDT

DALLAS — Alex Steen and David Perron scored power-play goals, Jaroslav Halek stopped 33 shots, and the playoff-bound St. Louis Blues beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Saturday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Kris Russell added an even-strength goal for the Central Division-champion Blues, who snapped a season-worst four-game losing streak (0-2-2) to finish with 109 points — the most since they had 114 in 1999-2000.

St. Louis will await the results of the Edmonton-Vancouver and Los Angeles-San Jose games to learn whether it will earn the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Canucks came into Saturday's games with 109 points and will win the Presidents' Trophy with a win over the Oilers.

Russell opened the scoring with 8:54 left in the second period on a shot deflected off Stars defenseman Philip Larsen's stick. The puck popped into the air, fluttering over Stars goaltender Richard Bachman's right shoulder and into the net for Russell's sixth of the season.

Steen notched his 21st of the season to give St. Louis a two-goal margin at 7:54 of the third.

Rookies Ryan Garbutt and Philip Larsen scored in the game's final six minutes for the Stars.

Dallas ended its season with 89 points, losing its final five games. The Stars were eliminated from playoff contention with Thursday night's 2-0 defeat at Nashville.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was looking for his team to carry some momentum into the playoffs so he stuck with his top-end players rather than protect them from injuries.

Dallas, which will miss the playoffs for a franchise-record fourth straight season, went with a lineup that featured seven rookies including Bachman, who started instead of Kari Lehtonen and finished with 32 saves.

The Stars had risen to the top of the Pacific Division with a 10-0-1 run through March 13, but they drifted out of the top eight with a 3-9-0 finish.

St. Louis was whistled for three minor penalties in the game's opening 10 minutes, but the Stars generated only one shot on goal in the three chances. Dallas' power play started the night tied for last in the NHL (13.8 percent).

NOTES: Dallas had won 10 straight home regular-season finales before Saturday night's loss. ... The Stars remain stuck on 99 all-time wins over St. Louis. ... Blues D Barret Jackman played in his 598th career game, tying Chris Pronger for ninth on the franchise's all-time list. Larry Patey is eighth with 603 games. ... D Jordie Benn and RW Scott Glennie made their NHL debuts for Dallas. Veterans Steve Ott, Mike Ribeiro, Sheldon Souray, Stephane Robidas, Radek Dvorak and Mark Fistric were among the Stars' scratches.

 


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