ST. LOUIS – Playing on a line with players like Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow can make any player better. Dallas forward Loui Eriksson can attest to that.
Eriksson scored two goals Tuesday night as Dallas rallied from a third-period deficit to beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1. Eriksson has four goals in the last two games while playing with the Stars’ top line. For Eriksson, it’s all about allowing Ribeiro and Morrow to create while he just reaps the rewards in front of the net.
“I’ve just tried to go to the net more,” Eriksson said. “I’m playing with two great guys, Ribeiro and Morrow, and they feed some good pucks in front and I just try to build my game. It’s fun now and we’re winning now, so that’s good.”
Ribeiro added a pair of assists for the Stars, who also got a power-play goal from Jere Lehtinen in winning for the fifth time in six games (5-1).
After pulling off one of the biggest trades of deadline day when it acquired Brad Richards from Tampa Bay, Dallas didn’t need its new high-scoring centre to handle the Blues.
The Stars, who trailed 1-0 heading into the third period, won in St. Louis for the first time in five games.
Marty Turco stopped 27 shots for Dallas in the game after being scored on on the first shot he faced.
“That was very important because we didn’t score until the third period and there were some close calls,” Turco said. “It was just one of those nights that happens. Certainly making two bad plays on one to cost us a goal is not something you’re proud of. But they do happen and the most important thing is to bounce positively forward and we all did and found a way, even though it wasn’t the prettiest of games.”
The Blues, who have dropped four straight, going 0-3-1 in those games, got a first-period goal from Keith Tkachuk. They had lost only once in regulation (18-1-2) in 21 games when leading after two periods until Tuesday.
The Blues have only scored three goals in their previous four games after scoring 10 in two games before that. During their four-game slide, the Blues have had 113 shots.
“We’ve had 113 shots and we have three goals to show for it,” Blues coach Andy Murray said. “It’s frustrating. It’s disappointing.”
The Stars scored three goals on their first three shots of the third period to grab a lead after being outshot 26-14 through two periods.
“We kind of eased our way into the game,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “After two periods, we were down one, we’d given up a lot of shots, but the scoring chances were about even.”
Eriksson scored his first of the game, redirecting in Ribeiro’s cross-ice feed 2:27 into the final period to tie it at 1.
Lehtinen converted his 11th goal of the season on the power play 7:43 into the final period to give the Stars a 2-1 lead. Lehtinen took a Ribeiro feed into the slot and beat Manny Legace high to the glove side on Dallas’ second shot of the period.
Eriksson netted his 11th of the season on a shot from the top of the left circle.
“Last game against Nashville, I was really close to scoring a hat trick and it was fun to score again today,” Eriksson said. “I almost had a hat trick today ,so it’s just fun to play right now.”
Tkachuk gave the Blues a 1-0 lead with his 20th goal of the season 1:31 into the game, but a 10-minute stretch in the third period where the Stars scored all three of their goals cost the Blues again.
“We played horrible for about 10 minutes of the third period,” said Legace, who stopped 18 shots. “They’re a highly skilled offensive team. The first two goals were tap-ins for them and I should have had the third one.”
Notes: The Blues sent D Bryce Salvador to New Jersey for RW Cam Janssen, a native of St. Louis. They followed that up with a trade of D Christian Backman to the New York Rangers for a 2008 fourth-round draft pick. … Morrow has scored seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last three games. He had one assist in the previous five games. … The Stars had to recall G Tobias Stephan and D Dan Jancevski to replace their departed players from Tuesday’s trade. … The Blues recalled D Jeff Woywitka to fill the void of Salvador. Richards and Holmqvist are expected to make their Stars debuts Thursday at home against Chicago. Janssen will debut for St. Louis on Thursday against Phoenix. … Tkachuk’s first-period goal marked the 14th season in which he has scored 20 or more goals.