Blues looking to develop quick chemistry with lines; edge Dallas in OT

News-DemocratSeptember 22, 2013 

— While the St. Louis Blues are breaking in a new center with Derek Roy, so is winger Chris Stewart.

Stewart and Jaden Schwartz have been playing on the wings with Roy in the middle as the Blues try to take advantage of the veteran playmaker's skill of making others look good.

"There's not much not to like," Stewart said of Roy, who was signed to a one-year deal during the offseason. "He's so patient and gifted with the puck. He's one of those guys who has the puck on his stick and the next thing you know it's on your stick and you've got a tap-in. It's going to be a big year for both of us."

Not long after hitting the goalpost with a shot, Roy set up Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo for the tying goal with 4:41 remaining Saturday against Dallas.

The Blues went on to win the game 3-2 in overtime on a goal by Patrik Berglund.

Stewart said the big things about bringing together a new line is chemistry and communication.

"They're guys you've never played with before and it takes a little longer to gel," Stewart said. "The biggest thing is communication, which we've been working on lately. Come the regular season we should all be on the same page."

The trio created a few scoring chances Saturday, with Schwartz making a nice feed to Stewart that only a big save from Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen kept from being a goal.

Schwartz, who is enjoying a strong training camp, tied the game 1-1 when he converted a rebound in front after a shot by rookie Dmitrij Jaskin. It was Schwartz's second goal of the preseason.

"I haven't felt too rusty at all as far as the first games, but I think there's always some things I can work on," Schwartz said. "I've got to be a little more consistent and not take any shifts off."

The play began when Blues defenseman Roman Polak got out of the penalty box and headed toward the net on a breakaway. Polak shot wide, but stayed behind the net to feed Jaskin before the Blues' tying goal.

Alex Chiasson's power-play goal early in the second period gave Dallas a 1-0 lead.

Blues goalie Jake Allen went the whole way and was sharp throughout after allowing five goals on 38 shots in his preseason debut against the same Stars team. This time Allen stopped 22-of-24 shots against Dallas.

He robbed Jamie Benn in front during a Stars' first-period power play and later flashed his glove out to take a goal away from Vernon Fiddler on a short-handed breakaway late in the second period.

Benn beat Allen nine seconds into the third period after making his way around Blues defenseman Jordan Leopold, but the Blues tied it when Roy set up defenseman Alex Pietrangelo in front for the tying goal with 4:41 remaining in regulation.

A shot by Pietrangelo took an odd bounce off the glass in overtime and the rebound came right to Berglund in front for the game-winner.

Pietrangelo has been making up for lost time the last two nights. His contract holdout lasted only two days, so his training camp has included lots of ice time.

He logged a team-high 26 minutes, 44 seconds on Saturday against Dallas after playing 26:46 the night before against Tampa Bay.

"That's one way of getting into the season, playing back to backs right away," said Pietrangelo, who was paired with veteran Jordan Leopold on Saturday. "We managed the minutes tonight and I felt pretty good."

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, or on Twitter @NormSanders

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