National Hockey League
Preview
Dallas at St. Louis
When: 9:30 PM ET, Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri

The St. Louis Blues have benefited from working overtime against the Dallas Stars, venturing past regulation to earn three of their four wins in the regular-season series before drawing a split of the Western Conference second-round set in the same manner. After wresting away home-ice advantage, St. Louis looks to gain the upper hand in the series when it hosts Game 3 on Tuesday.

Captain David Backes celebrated his 32nd birthday in style on Sunday, scoring 10:58 into the extra session of the 4-3 triumph for his second overtime goal of the playoffs. "Jaromir Jagr in all his wisdom at 44 said, 'Who cares who scores,' and that's the way we feel in this room," Backes told reporters. "... We did our job, got one in their building, and now need to go home and play solid hockey for 60 minutes and start to establish our game." Dallas coach Lindy Ruff refused to reveal if his goaltender carousel would take another turn for Game 3, as Kari Lehtonen yielded three goals on five shots before being replaced by Antti Niemi (19 saves). Ruff has consistently shuffled netminders following a difficult start, as Lehtonen won Games 1 and 2 in the first-round series versus Minnesota before faltering in the following contest - only to get the call after Niemi sputtered in Game 5.

TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, Sportsnet, TVAS

ABOUT THE STARS: Captain Jamie Benn is enjoying quite the postseason, assisting on one goal and scoring another with 2:36 remaining in the third period of Game 2 to extend his team-leading point total to 12 (five goals, seven assists). Cody Eakin set up all three of Dallas' goals on Sunday to match Benn with seven assists in the playoffs, much to the pleasure of Ruff. "Really it's the Cody Eakin I was looking for all year long," Ruff told the team's website on Monday. "His puck possession has been way up. What he's done defensively while playing against top lines has been very good. He's a step above where I had him in the regular season and he's right where we need him to be to be effective as a team."

ABOUT THE BLUES: Two-goal leads are proving to be anything but safe for St. Louis, which squandered that advantage for the second time in the playoffs on Sunday. The Blues jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the first period of their Game 6 tilt versus Chicago in the first round, only to see the Blackhawks storm back with a vengeance and extend the series. "The worst lead in hockey is a two-goal lead," coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters. "But it's natural; you play the score. You don't want to get caught, so you put a safety net up."

OVERTIME

1. Stars C Tyler Seguin (Achilles) and RW Patrick Eaves (lower body) skated on Monday, but Ruff told the Dallas Morning News that neither would travel with the team to St. Louis.

2. Blues rookie C Robby Fabbri has recorded seven points (one goal, six assists) in nine playoff games.

3. St. Louis has thwarted all seven of its short-handed situations in the series.

PREDICTION: Blues 3, Stars 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Dallas 55-24-9-2 L1 31-11-4-0 24-13-5-2 7-2-1-0 48-22-8-2 24-8-4-1
St. Louis 54-27-6-4 W1 26-14-4-1 28-13-2-3 5-3-0-0 49-24-6-4 24-10-2-2
Last Meeting
Dallas St. Louis
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
5/1/16 STL 4 (OT) DAL 3 34 21 0-4 25 31 2-5
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Dallas C. Eakin 3
St. Louis D. Backes 2
Goals Player  
Dallas J. Benn 1
St. Louis D. Backes 1
Assists Player  
Dallas C. Eakin 3
St. Louis R. Fabbri 2
Saves Player  
Dallas A. Niemi 19
St. Louis B. Elliott 31
Season
Total Points Player  
Dallas J. Benn 101
St. Louis V. Tarasenko 87
Goals Player  
Dallas J. Benn 46
St. Louis V. Tarasenko 48
Assists Player  
Dallas J. Benn 55
St. Louis P. Stastny 42
Saves Player  
Dallas A. Niemi 1251
St. Louis B. Elliott 1397
Quickchart Matchup
Dallas Off vs  St. Louis Def
3.23 GF
2.44 GA
31.8 Shots
30.5 Shots
62 PP
47 PK
St. Louis Off vs  Dallas Def
2.67 GF
2.78 GA
30.1 Shots
28.7 Shots
58 PP
50 PK