NHL Blues push Stars to brink with comfortable win

Los Angeles (AFP) –


The St. Louis Blues beat the Dallas Stars 4-1 on Saturday to move within one win of reaching the NHL Western Conference finals for the first time since 2001.

Dmitrij Jaskin and Troy Brouwer scored second-period goals and Brian Elliott made 27 saves for St. Louis, who can wrap up the second-round playoff series at home on Monday.

"That's what you play for," Elliott said. "It's three games down. It's one more. That's what it comes down to, getting the fourth."

Jaskin, playing his first game of the post-season, scored the eventual game-winner for the Blues, collecting his own rebound to score his first career playoff goal midway through the second period.

"I've been waiting for this moment for three, four weeks," Jaskin said of his return. "It's great. I found out this morning and I was ready."

Scottie Upshall made Jaskin's goal possible, keeping the puck in the offensive zone. He moved the puck to Jay Bouwmeester, who fed a pass in the slot to Jaskin.

Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen made the save on Jaskin's first shot, but he fired in the rebound for a 2-1 lead.

"I thought it was a double crossbar or something, a double post," Jaskin said. "So I didn't really celebrate. It was nice to find out it was in."

Robby Fabgri and Paul Stastny each had a goal and an assist for the Blues, who won two straight games in Dallas to push the Stars to the brink of elimination.

Alex Goligoski scored the lone goal for the Stars in the first period.

"We've got to cash in (on our chances)," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "We hit some posts, we hit a crossbar, we missed a couple point blank."