ST. LOUIS – Kari Lehtonen made sure the third period belonged to the Dallas Stars again.
Lehtonen recovered from a soft goal late in the second and the Stars scored on two of their first five shots to overcome a third-period deficit for the second straight night in a 2-1 victory Saturday. The Stars swept the home-and-home series and handed the Blues their first regulation loss at home.
“I tried during the intermission to kind of get my things together, and I made some good saves,” Lehtonen said. “I try to remember those things rather than the goal.
“It was nice that I didn’t touch the puck before we scored those two goals.”
Jamie Benn tied it and Loui Eriksson scored on a power play for the lead at 5:05. The 21-year-old Benn has five goals in 19 games, including a short-handed breakaway Friday in Dallas’ 3-2 win.
The Blues outshot the Stars 13-4 in a scoreless first period. Dallas had the momentum at the finish and is 3-0 against the Blues this season, each game by one goal and all with Lehtonen in net.
“You don’t want to have to do that all the time, and certainly we don’t want to make a habit of it. But it’s nice to know that you can,” coach Marc Crawford said. “I don’t think it’s a huge surprise that the Blues started with such a fury.”
B.J. Crombeen scored late in the second period for the Blues, who were the last NHL team to lose in regulation at home. St. Louis has 17 points in its first 10 home games, going 8-1-1.
“It’s a tough one to lose whether we’ve lost all eight at home,” rookie defenceman Alex Pietrangelo said. “It’s a tough one to give away, especially going through the same thing last night.”
Crombeen scored his first goal in 10 games late in the second period for the Blues, who outshot Dallas 36-23. But the Stars blanked the top line of David Backes, Andy McDonald and Brad Boyes, which had totalled 28 points the previous eight games. Halak started in goal for the second straight night and had 21 saves.
The Stars have won three in a row overall, each by one goal, and evened their road record at 5-5.
The lone Blues goal came after Lehtonen’s apparent save on a drive by Patrik Berglund. The puck slowly trickled between the goalie’s pads and Crombeen swept in for an easy tap-in at 18:49 of the second. It also was his first goal against the franchise that waived him in November 2008.
Unlike Friday when Mike Ribeiro got the go-ahead goal with 3:22 to go, the Blues had plenty of time to respond on Saturday. They just couldn’t muster much.
“It’s kind of a tough thing to pin down,” Crombeen said. “We, for whatever reason, let up off the gas a little bit both nights for about five or 10 minutes, and they found a way to put some pucks in the net.”
The Blues had a whopping 13-4 shots advantage in the first, although their best chance came on one that didn’t count when Chris Porter’s backhander from the side of the net slid through the crease.
NOTES: Brad Richards assisted on the go-ahead goal and has five goals and five assists in his last eight games. … The Blues have totalled a franchise-best 17 points after 10 games four times. They outscored the opposition 28-14 the first nine games. … Dallas had a goal disallowed at 7:18 of the second after video review because Adam Burish kicked the puck into the net.