ST. LOUIS (AP) — Giving up a lead late before going on to win two straight games is not St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock’s idea of good hockey.
Vladimir Tarasenko scored at 3:24 of overtime to lift the Blues to a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday night. Tarasenko took a pass from Jori Lehtera and fired a wrist shot past Stars goalie Antti Niemi for 10th of the season and team-leading 23rd point.
The Stars had tied it with 50 seconds left in the third period on defenseman Jamie Oleksiak’s second goal of the game.
“There’s a real concern about the leads,” Hitchcock said. “There’s a real concern about what we gave up and how we did it. We played terrific and had full control of the hockey game. We got careless on our checking and our puck management.”
The Blues also gave up a late third-period goal in Saturday’s shootout win over Minnesota.
“There’s a lot of good things to like with what’s going on right now,” Hitchcock said. “You like our spirit and our ability to come back but there’s genuine concerns on my part about elements of our game that don’t hurt you at home but will kill you on the road. We have to get that cleaned up.”
On the tying goal, Dallas had an extra skater with Niemi pulled and Oleksiak sent the puck at the net from the left point and it got past Blues goalie Jake Allen for his fourth career goal — third against St. Louis.
“I don’t come into games thinking (anything) but I was fortunate to get a couple of bounces here and I think I just do what I can,” Oleksiak said. “Obviously I have some familiarity with this team. We play them a lot and played them in the playoffs last year and you kind of learn some tendencies and you kind of learn where to be in certain situations.”
Robby Fabbri, Alex Pietrangelo and David Perron also scored for St. Louis, and Allen finished with 18 saves.
Jamie Benn had the Stars’ other goal and Niemi stopped 27 shots.
St. Louis improved to 3-3 in games beyond regulation — including 2-2 in overtime — and Dallas fell to 1-6 — all in OT.
“Overtime is killing us right now,” Benn said.
The Blues took a 3-2 lead with 6:48 remaining as Perron took a pass from Jaden Schwartz and beat Niemi. Perron has the longest active point-scoring streak in the NHL at eight games (three goals, eight assists).
“We were patient there,” Perron said. “We were able to come back and get the two points so it’s good.”
The Blues improved to 6-1-0 over their past seven games. St. Louis has won its last five home games and is 8-0-2 in the last 10 at Scottrade Center.
The Blues got on the scoreboard first with 6:24 left in the first period when Fabbri took a pass from Robert Bortuzzo in the right circle and sent a low wrist shot past Niemi. It was Fabbri’s first goal in six games.
Pietrangelo poked in a loose puck under the Niemi’s pad at 4:17 of the second period for a power-play goal to make it 2-0. Patrick Berglund redirected the shot by Pietrangelo but Niemi never completely covered it. Charging the net, Pietrangelo pounced and knocked it in.
“We were all whacking away at it,” Pietrangelo said. “Somebody has to score it. I do what I can. I was just hoping it was me. I’ll take it. Everybody loves to score.”
Dallas cut the lead in half with 3:39 left in the second when Oleksiak beat Allen with a wrist shot from the right circle. Oleksiak skated around Perron and Pietrangelo to score.
The goal impressed Dallas coach Lindy Ruff.
“He scores two goals. The first one is one you can save for a lifetime and I think it was a turning point for us,” Ruff said. “It gave us some belief that we can get back into the game.”
The Stars tied it on a power play when Benn, who also had two assists, scored 1:47 into the third. It was his third goal in his last five games.
St. Louis had two power-play opportunities in the third period and did not put a shot on goal.
This is the second of four meetings between the Stars and Blues this season. Dallas won the first meeting, 6-2, in Dallas on Nov. 3.
NOTES: Oleksiak has three goals in the Stars’ last four games after not dressing in the previous three. … Dallas recalled D Stephen Johns from the Texas Stars of the AHL. Johns played in 16 games with Dallas earlier this season before being sent to the minors. … Blues F Alexander Steen (upper body) and D Joel Edmundson (upper body) are day to day. … The Blues have won seven of the last nine regular-season meetings with the Stars, including four consecutive wins at Scottrade Center. … Dallas is now 0-9-1 when trailing after two periods and St. Louis improved to 7-0-1 with the lead after two periods.
Stars: At Detroit on Tuesday night.
Blues: Host Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
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