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Stars At Blues Game Preview: Lehtera, Stastny Switch Spots

Ken Hitchcock is flipping the two centers hoping for an offensive spark.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Blues have been limited in their goal scoring recently. What was explosive stuff in January has proved, unsurprisingly, to be unsustainable in February. The Blues have been held to two goals or fewer in five of their last six games. Some sort of spark needs to pop back into the lineup.

This is where tonight's change comes in: Jori Lehtera and Paul Stastny will be centering different lines tonight. Stastny will be bumped up to the second line with Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko, while Lehtera will center Patrik "I'm ok after being dinged in practice, I swear!" Berglund and Dmitri Jaskin.

Brian Elliott is back in net after a masterful performance against the Florida Panthers, in which - much like against the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this month - he stole two points for the Blues. The Blues shut down in the third period against the Panthers, allowing 21 shots on net in that period alone. A lapse like that against the Dallas Stars won't end well, even if the Stars are short Tyler Seguin, Alex Hemsky, and Patrick Eaves.

Dallas is fighting for a playoff spot.The Blues would like to gain a couple of points on the Predators for once. They're going to have to play a tight and disciplined game against the Stars. Thankfully they have Barret Jackman to lean on in that respect, and tonight is a special night for number five - he becomes number two on the all-time games played list for the Blues. Says captain David Backes about the defenseman:

"He's blue collar, he's a team-first type of guy," captain David Backes said. "His role doesn’t necessarily always get praised on the scoresheet or in the press, but he does a lot of great things that help us win."

So deal with that, Jax detractors.

Even with a depleted Stars squad who have played on again, off again quality hockey and sit six points out of the last wild card spot in the West, being on your toes is beneficial. The Blues should strive to play like they did during the Tampa Bay portion of their Florida road trip; the fewer clunkers like the game against the Panthers the better.