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Monday, December 26, 2011

Chris Stewart Buries Stars As Blues Beat Dallas 5-3

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St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart had been receiving a full load of criticism because of his lack of output this season.  In his first 29 games of the season, Stewart had found the net just four times.

In his last three games, including Monday night's 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Stewart has scored three goals, giving him seven on the season.

Stewart, who was recently moved by head coach Ken Hitchcock to first line alongside captain David Backes and Alex Steen, banged home a power play goal in the first period and capped off the scoring in the third period with an empty net goal to help give the Blues their 21st victory and 46th point on the season.

Stewart was not the only Blues player to score on the power play.  The Blues, who have the league's worst power play, scored twice with the man advantage.  Jason Arnott scored a power play goal with just over one second left in the second period to give the Blues what was then a 3-1 lead.

Evgeny Grachev, playing with the second line due to T.J. Oshie's absence due to a wrist injury, banged in a rebound early in the third period to push the score to 4-1.  It was Grachev's first career goal.

The Stars countered with a pair of goals off Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak, who stopped 20 of the 23 shots he faced, before Stewart ended the suspense with the empty net goal.

Blues forward David Perron assisted on two of the Blues goals while Backes and Patrik Berglund tallied a pair of helpers as well.

The win pushes the Blues record to 7-2-1 in their last ten games.

The Blues will have a quick turnaround after their win against Dallas.  On Tuesday the Blues travel to take on division rival Detroit, who is just one point behind the Blues in the Western Conference Standings. 

The Blues can only hope that Stewart can keep his hot hand as they take on the Red Wings in a battle for position in the Western Conference Standings.

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