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Dallas Stars Begin Grueling Central Division Stretch Against St. Louis Blues

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7:30pm CDT start tonight at the American Airlines Center, or your television-phone-tablet device thingies on Fox Sports.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The baseball world overlapped with pretty much every other sort last night to present some unparalleled pageantry as the Chicago Cubs won the World Series after a storied 108 year drought in one of the most dramatic game sevens ever seen.

And tonight the Dallas Stars take on the St. Louis Blues in game 10 of 82 of the 2016-2017 season. OK, ok- The contrast is stark, but the reminder will not be lost on Stars fans who endured their own game-seven torture recently against this same squad.

The Wild are off to a hot start. Nashville looks good. Chicago is Chicago. The Avalanche own the Stars. Dallas must start to siphon points from central division foes, and there's no time like the present as they face the Blues, the Blackhawks, the Blackhawks and the Jets in their next four contests.

That's a grizzly set to anticipate, but it's better than looking back, where the Stars suffered considerable anguish in Columbus.

"We are frustrated with the loss," Jason Spezza told media after their overtime defeat. "That was a pretty good game on our part. We controlled the play all night. It was frustrating to lose that game."

Dallas held a considerable edge in possession throughout but it's not translating into the one thing at which they were anticipated to excel: Scoring goals. They've scored six TOTAL goals in their last five games, including getting shutout twice.

The Dallas Stars rank 27th in offense at 2.22 per game. The Blues rank 28th in offense at 2.20 per game. This barn burner gets started at 7:30pm CDT on Fox Sports Southwest.

The Blues, meanwhile, carry a 5-3-2 record into this one- Something to be envied by the likes of Dallas, yet there are some who term St. Louis to be struggling.

They've out-shot teams (35-29 against NYR, 32-27 against DET, 40-27 against CGY, etc) yet boast just two wins in their last seven outings- And they've been held to one or fewer goals in six of their last seven games.

In the four games leading up to this one they've scored one, one, one and zero times. To say that they're due to break out at any second might be an underestimation on my part. 7 of their 22 goals have come on the power play this season, and they've been a solid possession team. They out-attempted the Rangers 65-51 in a 5-0 loss Tuesday night in New York.

They've received solid goaltending from Jake Allen as he's recorded a 2.22 goals against average and a 4-2-2 record in eight games played.

It appeared as though the Stars would get a break when Alex Pietrangelo got tied up with J.T. Miller Tuesday and was seen walking with a limp to the bus after getting treatment. Multiple outlets are reporting that he will be fine to go tonight, however. Robert Bortuzzo has been placed on IR with a lower-body injury.

Their lineup, you might recall-

Perron-Stastny-Steen

Schwartz-Lehtera-Tarasenko

Fabbri-Berglund-Yakupov

Jaskin-Brodziak-Reaves

Bouwmeester-Pietrangelo

Gunnarsson-Shattenkirk

Edmundson-Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Yeesh. That's a lineup that "can't score," lately. Color us unconvinced, and as you did in the spring, keep a close eye on that second line on the rare occasion they're not already drawing it to themselves.

From Stars PR:

BLUES CLUES

The Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues meet on Thursday night for the first of four games during the 2016-17 regular season. The Stars posted a 1-1-3 overall record against the Blues last season with a 1-0-1 record at American Airlines Center. Dallas has points in six of their last eight games against the Blues on home ice (3-2-3), dating back to the 2012-13 campaign. Thursday's game marks the first meeting between the two clubs since their matchup in the Second Round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blues won the series, 4-3, and recorded the series-clinching victory at American Airlines Center in Game 7 on May 11, 2016. In the most recent regular-season meeting between the two clubs on March 12, 2016, the Blues defeated the Stars in overtime, 5-4. Five Stars skaters recorded multi-point games including captain Jamie Benn (1-1=2) and forward Tyler Seguin (0-2=2).

WE BENN JAMMIN'

Stars captain Jamie Benn recorded an assist (0-1=1) on Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets and now has five points (2-3=5) through nine games this season. Benn ranks third on the club in points (5) and shares third in both goals (2) and assists (3). During the 2015-16 season, he appeared all 82 games and finished with a career-high 89 points (41-48=89), including a career-high 41 goals. The native of Victoria, B.C. ranks 11th in the NHL this season in faceoff percentage (59.8%), going 52-of-87 from the dot. The captain has a three-game point streak on home ice against the Blues (4-3=7) with points in six of his last seven games against them at American Airlines Center (5-6=11). Benn has points in three of his last four overall games (2-3=5) against St. Louis and has 23 points (11-12=23) in 27 career games against them.

IT'S ONLY THE SEGUIN-NING

Stars forward Tyler Seguin registered a goal (1-0=1) against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday and now has goals in three of his last four contests (3-0=3). Seguin has registered a team-leading eight points (5-3=8) in nine games this season, sharing 11th in the NHL in goals (5) and tied for 13th in shots (33). The native of Brampton, Ont. has 10 points (4-6=10) over his last 10 overall games against the Blues, including multi-point outings in three of his last five games against them at American Airlines Center. Over that five game span on home ice, he has tallied seven points (2-5=7) and 24 shots on goal. In 16 career contests against St. Louis, he has recorded 12 points (4-8=12).