ST. LOUIS — Opponents generally know that one of the biggest keys to beating the St. Louis Blues is to find a way to shut down their leading scorer, right winger Vladimir Tarasenko.
Teams have more than Tarasenko to worry about now, however, because of the way the combination of left winger Jaden Schwartz, center Paul Stastny and right winger David Perron are playing since being placed on a line together.
Shutting down that line will be the challenge for the Dallas Stars when they visit the Blues on Monday night.
In his last seven games, Perron owns two goals and eight assists. Schwartz, in his last six games, scored five goals and assisted on three more. Stastny adds two goals and two assists in his last five games.
The three forwards combined for all three of the Blues’ goals in regulation on Saturday night before Perron scored the only goal in the shootout in a 4-3 win over Minnesota.
Perron recorded at least one point in his last seven games, the longest active streak in the NHL. He is second to Tarasenko in scoring for the Blues with six goals and nine assists this season.
"It’s going good," Schwartz said. "We’re getting chances. Both guys (Stastny and Perron) are smart players, can make plays in tight areas, working hard for each other. Stas is doing a great job on faceoffs, he’s taking a lot of (defensive) zone draws, winning a lot of faceoffs, doing a lot of little things.
"We haven’t been together for certain times in a game, or we’ll switch wingers, but we’re getting some good reads off Perron."
The play of the three forwards helped the Blues go 9-1-2 at home this season, including wins in their last four games.
"If you look at the way he (Schwartz) is scoring, and Paul too, I think both of them, they’re creating a lot of offense by going around the net," said defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. "I think when we’re getting the puck there and we’re getting bodies in front, you have guys with that type of vision, they’re going to find the puck like that."
Trying to find the right combination of his forwards is the challenge for Stars’ coach Lindy Ruff, who shuffles Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza and Patrick Sharp into different spots in the lineup.
"Right now, we just aren’t quite clicking to put a game away," Ruff said. "It’s going to start with the Seguins, the Benns, Spezza, Sharp, those guys. Until our top guys can push through and make a difference, our games are going to be a lot tighter and we re going to be a little up and down."
The Stars scored just one or two goals in four of their last six games. They are coming off a 2-1 win at home over Vancouver as they begin a four-game road trip.
Dallas made one roster move on Sunday, recalling defenseman Stephen Johns from the Texas Stars of the AHL. Johns played in 16 games with the Stars earlier this season before being sent to the minors.