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Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2001

When Blues, Stars get together, count on overtime

April 25, 2001

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— The Dallas Stars can get ready for another tight playoff series.

After a six-game series against Edmonton that included five one-goal games, four in overtime, the Stars drew the St. Louis Blues for the Western Conference semifinals.

Dallas and St. Louis played three times during the regular season and all three went to overtime. A 4-3 win by the Blues in October was followed by a 3-3 tie in February and a 1-1 deadlock last month.

"We played well against them, but we didn't get a win. We know how difficult this opponent is," Stars coach Ken Hithcock said Tuesday.

The best-of-seven series begins Friday in Dallas, where Game 2 will also be Sunday. The series then switches to St. Louis for Games 3 and 4.

Like Dallas, the Blues have been off since Saturday when they beat San Jose 2-1 to wrap up their opening series in six games.

The only game in the Edmonton series that wasn't determined by one goal was the Stars' series-clinching 3-1 victory when Mike Modano added an empty-netter in the closing minute.

The prospect of having another series likely filled with one-goal games doesn't both the Stars.

"We've learned to win 1-0, 2-1 games. That's been our strength," Modano said. "We lost a lot of one-goal games going through that transition of learning how to win those games. But we've learned what it takes and we're comfortable with a one-goal lead."

Twice against Edmonton, the Stars had two-goal leads slip away, but they went on to win both games in overtime.

Not only does a Dallas-St. Louis matchup set up the possibility of close games, it puts two players against their former teams.

Stars wing Brett Hull played in St. Louis from 1987-98, then was traded to the Stars. He wasn't in the mood after practice Tuesday to talk about another reunion with his former team, and left without talking to reporters gathered around his locker.

"Why do you think I'm not saying anything. It's been done 75 times," Hull said.

On the other side, St. Louis goalie Roman Turek was the backup to Eddie Belfour on the 1999 Stanley Cup championship team in Dallas.

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