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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, April 11th (All times Eastern)

St. Louis Blues (52-21-7) at Dallas Stars (39-30-11), 8:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - All the Dallas Stars need is a win and the club will earn its first trip to the playoffs since 2008. The Stars hope to get that victory on Friday night when they host the slumping St. Louis Blues at American Airlines Center.

Dallas is two points ahead of Phoenix for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. After the Coyotes lost Thursday in Nashville, the Stars can lock up a postseason berth with a win of any kind against the Blues. A Dallas victory also would render the Stars' season-ending game in Phoenix on Sunday meaningless.

The Blues, meanwhile, clinched a playoff spot long ago, but could be costing themselves the Central Division title with an 0-4-0 slide.

The club's longest losing streak of the season has allowed Colorado to tie St. Louis for first place in the Central. Both teams enter Friday with identical 52-21-7 records, but the Blues can't catch the Avalanche in the non-shootout wins category, which is the first tiebreaker.

The Avalanche, who are 8-0-1 over their last nine games, visit the San Jose Sharks on Friday. Both the Avs and Blues will have one game left in the regular season after tonight, with Colorado visiting Anaheim on Sunday and the Blues hosting Detroit the same day.

St. Louis dropped a 4-2 decision Thursday in Minnesota and also lost forward T.J. Oshie to injury in the process.

Oshie was hurt when Minnesota forward Mike Rupp caught him with a shoulder to the head in the second period.The hit, which occurred on a delayed high- sticking penalty to Wild defenseman Marco Scandella, drew a match penalty.

"Obviously, (Oshie) is out. He's like everything else at this time of year, he's day-to-day, but certainly a tough hit to take right now," said Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock.

Oshie is second on the Blues with 60 points this season. He'll join Blues forwards Brenden Morrow (foot) and David Backes (lower body) on the shelf.

Ryan Miller was pulled in the third period after allowing four goals on just 13 shots. Brian Elliott faced only two shots in relief and stopped them both.

Miller, who fell to 10-6-1 since coming over from Buffalo in a trade, is expected to get the start tonight. He is 4-2-1 with a 2.92 goals against average in seven career games against Dallas.

The Blues fell to 24-13-3 as the road team this season.

Dallas has lost two of three and three of its last five games and is coming off Wednesday's setback against visiting Columbus in the replay of a suspended game from American Airlines Center. The Blue Jackets entered the game with a 1-0 lead and picked up a 3-1 victory to clinch an playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The original matchup, begun on March 10, was ended after almost 6 1/2 minutes elapsed in the first period when Stars forward Rich Peverley suffered a cardiac episode on the bench. Wednesday's game was replayed from the start, but the visitors were allowed to keep their 1-0 lead, thanks to a Nathan Horton goal.

Once play resumed, Artem Anisimov and Mark Letestu lit the lamp for the Blue Jackets. Anisimov needed only 93 seconds after the opening faceoff to extend his club's advantage, sliding a low shot inside the left post from atop the crease.

"When you give up an early goal, it certainly took the life out of the building," said Stars head coach Lindy Ruff. "It was a little bit of a bad break. We tried to reverse the puck, it hit the stanchion and came right back to him."

Trevor Daley provided the sole offense for the Stars, and Tim Thomas made 23 saves in a shaky performance between the pipes.

Dallas is 22-11-7 as the host and has one last chance to improve that mark on Friday.

The Blues and Stars have split four meetings so far in 2013-14, but Dallas won the two most recent encounters, which were both played in St. Louis. The Blues have claimed seven of 10 overall in this series and three of the last four meetings in Big D.

04/11 10:48:15 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8th
SFG 11
KAN 4
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
 
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
 
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
 
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
 
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
 
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
1st OT
PSU 17
OSU 17
 
Half
UTAH 10
USC 14
 
2nd
WASH 0
ARST 0
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
1st OT
ARI 1
FLA 1
 
2nd Intermission
CAL 1
WAS 2
 
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14