ST. LOUIS – Hours after learning he was selected to the Western Conference all-star team, Manny Legace showed he deserved the honour.
Legace stopped 24 shots to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. “He played well,” Stars centre Brendan Morrow said. “He made himself big. He was square to the shots and they had some guys that were pushing us around and clearing the rebounds.”
The 34-year-old Legace, who learned of his first all-star selection in the morning, has allowed only four goals in his last 319 minutes.
“A childhood dream,” Legace of playing in the mid-season game. “I’ve been watching it all my life growing up in Toronto. It’s always been a dream to go to the all-star Game.”
Brad Boyes scored twice and Paul Kariya had a goal and two assists to lead the offensive effort for St. Louis, which extended its point streak to six games. Keith Tkachuk had the other goal for St. Louis, winners of three straight.
Mike Ribeiro, playing in his 400th game, had a goal and an assists for the Stars. Antti Miettinen had Dallas’ other goal.
The win gave the Blues a 22-14-5 mark at the season’s halfway point and kept St. Louis in eight place in the Western Conference. A year ago, St. Louis was 13-21-7 at the midway point and in 15th place in the conference.
Legace said that the team has carried over its play from last year when Andy Murray took over as head coach.
“I think we picked up where we left off,” Legace said. “I don’t think we surprise teams any more.”
Dallas coach Dave Tippett didn’t believe his team did enough to earn a win.
“We had some spurts where we were around it, but we couldn’t get ahead in the game,” Tippett said. “We didn’t have enough players on board to pay the price to win tonight.”
Boyes got the Blues going when he took a cross-ice pass from Kariya and beat Dallas goalie Mike Smith with a one-timer from the top of the left circle eight minutes into the game. Kariya made it 2-0 at 15:22 of the first period when he took a pass from Jay McKee and blasted a shot from the slot by Smith.
Ribeiro put the Stars back in it when he deflected Trevor Daley’s shot past Legace 3:46 into the second period. But Tkachuk gave St. Louis its two-goal lead back when he deflected Kariya’s centring pass by Smith 5:49 later.
Boyes made it 4-1 at the 12:27 mark of the period when he converted David Perron’s pass on a 2-on-1 break.
“That was a beautiful pass from Perron,” Boyes said “All I had to do was tip it in.”
It stayed that way until Miettinen scored on a two-man advantage with 1;31 left.
Notes: Sergei Zubov played in his 827th game with the Stars, tying Derian Hatcher for third on the team’s all-time games played list. … Boyes has 23 goals, three shy of his career high set with Boston in 2005-06. Lee Stempniak led the Blues last with 27 goals. … The Blues are 14-1-0 when leading after two periods.