DALLAS -- Vladimir Tarasenko scored the lone shootout goal and Jake Allen was able to turn away all three Dallas Stars shooters in the shootout of the St. Louis Blues' 6-5 win Sunday night at American Airlines Center.
Maxim Lapierre scored twice for the Blues, Ryan Reaves added a goal and an assist and Sergey Andronov had two assists as the line combined for six points in the game. Allen play the entire game in goal for St. Louis, making 33 saves.
"Three years ago, I think I scored 15 or 16 goals." said Lapierre, who scored 15 goals for Montreal in 2008-09. "I know when my confidence level is high I can, I can chip in goals offensively, but the main goal stays the same. That's to be physical and be good on draws defensively and on the PK. When I go to the rink for a game, I'm focused on these things. If the goals come, they come. It doesn't really matter to me."
Valeri Nichushkin, who was the 10th overall pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, looked impressive in his NHL debut playing on a line with Shawn Horcoff and Cody Eakin. he scored twice for the Stars, who saw Dan Ellis and Jack Campbell split time in goal. Also, the Stars saw the debut of Tyler Seguin in the game.
After an inauspicious start from the Blues where the Stars got goals from Erik Cole (power play) and Kevin Connauton less than four minutes into the game on four shots, Lapierre came back to get two for the visitors to tie it after one.
Lapierre, a free agent pickup by the Blues this summer, deflected a Reaves shot past Dan Ellis 8:48 into the period, then scored a power play goal 14 minutes in to make it 2-2.
Cole had given the Stars a 1-0 lead with a one-timer from the slot just 1:17 in, beating Allen high blocker side. Connauton's goal was a wrister from the blue line after taking a faceoff from Eakin 3:59 into the first.
The Stars reclaimed the lead on Tyler Seguin's power play goal, with Cole picking up his second assist of the game 5:53 into the second period.
The Blues again equalized on Sebastian Wannstrom's goal from a sharp angle, as he beat Jack Campbell from the low left circle with a wrister short side 13:32 into the second to make it 3-3.
But Nichushkin re-established Dallas' lead when he was able to collect a rebound and beat Allen in the slot with 27.3 seconds left in the second for a 4-3 Stars lead.
Nichushkin picked up the puck after the Blues' Ian Cole lost it at the blue line. He beat Allen on the breakaway by sliding a backhand in at 7:04 of the third for a 5-4 Stars lead.
But the Blues would not go away again, as Reaves tipped Andronov's shot that beat Campbell from the top of the right circle through a crowd in front of the netminder at 11:03 of the third to tie the game 5-5.
"That was kind of the off-season plan, trying on getting a little offense and chip in whenever I can," Reaves said. "Obviously you keep the physical game up. I thought we started off pretty physical, but Lappy had two ... I don't know, I think our line had six points. That's going to be a big part of our team is the fourth line trying to contribute."
Tarasenko beat Campbell on the Blues' first shootout attempt, and Allen was able to stop Seguin and Nichushkin on the final two Dallas tries after Jamie Benm hit the left post on Dallas' first attempt.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was pleased with the first game, despite the ups and downs. he was especially pleased with the Lapierre, Reaves, Andronov combination.
"I just think you get a chance to prove yourself in these types of games," Hitchcock said. "You have a little bit of success, you get confidence. This was a real good evaluation for what we need to work on the next two days. We found out a lot in the scrimmage this morning and then a lot more tonight. So now we know what we've got to work on Monday and Tuesday and that'll give us a really good view of working on some things and getting ready. We got some real good evaluation on what guys were good at and what they need to work on."
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