Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Find Life No Beach against Stars 4-Game Streak Ends after Winter Vacation in the Florida Sand

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Find Life No Beach against Stars 4-Game Streak Ends after Winter Vacation in the Florida Sand

Article excerpt

The Blues must put away the tanning butter, flip-flops and inflatable water giraffes.

Vacation's over.

The newly inspired Dallas Stars sent this message home with their fists, elbows and sticks while pounding out a 2-1 National Hockey League victory Sunday night at Reunion Arena, ending the Blues' winning streak at four.

The Blues gave a respectable road effort coming off their Camp Keenan II retreat to Fort Lauderdale, but had only Esa Tikkanen's goal to show for it.

Coach Mike Keenan was hoping for more. "We weren't prepared for a game of this emotional level, no question about it," Keenan said. "Your best players have to be your best players for you to win. We ended up losing by a goal. The margin between success and failure is very small."

The layoff should have been a plus, Keenan said, not a minus. "Tonight we should have come out strong because we had the time off," he said. "They played better than we did. A pretty good win for them."

Ex-Blue Peter Zezel and Trent Klatt scored for the Stars, who also benefited from a spectacular game-saving effort from goaltender Andy Moog.

Blues captain Brett Hull was more impressed with the level of holding and interference the defensive-minded Stars got away with while referee Dan Marouelli waved them on.

"Anybody can (check) if they're not going to call stuff that's a blatant penalty," Hull said. "Put a rope around you and try to play with that."

Not that he blamed the Stars for trying those tactics. "If you get away with it, you keep doing it until you get caught," Hull said. "It's like with a kid at home."

The Stars entered this game with a 2-6-1 record at home. But they had won their last three games overall, including two shutouts by backup Darcy Wakaluk.

General manager and coach Bob Gainey got his players' attention by dealing captain Neal Broten to the New Jersey for Corey Millen. There is little doubt the Stars are getting their old feisty personality back.

"They had a little bit of a slow start, but they seem to have come out of it," Keenan said. …

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