Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues' Record Lightened by Whitewash in Dallas

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues' Record Lightened by Whitewash in Dallas

Article excerpt

A big dud.

There's no better way to describe the Blues' first National Hockey League game against the former Minnesota North Stars in Big D.

Behind Andy Moog's 18th career shutout, the transplanted Dallas Stars whipped the Blues 4-0 before a sellout crowd of 16,914 Saturday night at Reunion Arena, giving the Blues their first loss of the season.

The shutout was the Stars' first in their new home, where they are 2-0-2. At 2-1-2 overall, they are tied with the Blues for second place in the Central Division with six points.

The Blues dropped to 3-1, falling back to earth with a thud after a heady 3-0 start that coach Bob Berry said probably made the Blues feel too good about themselves.

"That's the only way I can look at it," he said. "We had a very big win in Detroit (a 5-2 victory Wednesday). . . . We thought things were going to be easy.

"We made it very difficult on ourselves."

Dallas dominated the Blues in nearly every phase, outshooting them 45-26. The advantage was 40-18 through two periods, and at one point in the first period, the Stars had a 21-1 edge. They outshot the Blues 25-6 in the first.

"Twenty five . . . shots," Berry said, disgustedly. "That's no good. . . . After the first period, we competed a little bit better, but we weren't ready to play the game at 7 o'clock and by 10 minutes to 8, it was too late.

"If you don't prepare yourself to play during the day, it's tough to wait until the puck's dropped."

Blues alternate captain Brendan Shanahan agreed.

"We just can't let a team do that to us in the first period," he said. "That's just ridiculous. We have to start preparing a little bit earlier; get our game face on in warm-ups."

Russ Courtnall, Grant Ledyard, Brent Gilchrist and Jarkko Varvio scored the Stars' goals, spoiling an otherwise-brilliant performance by Blues goalie Curtis Joseph.

Joseph stopped 20 shots in the first period and 14 more in the second period. Thanks to Joseph, the Stars went into the locker room after two periods with only a 2-0 lead, and the Blues felt they were still in the game.

"We still felt like we'd break Moog's spell, and we'd get our confidence going," Shanahan said. …

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