Stars win series opener over Blues

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Radek Faksa had two points and Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 shots as the Dallas Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in game one of their second-round NHL playoff series.

Faksa scored the eventual winner with 4:44 remaining in regulation when he tapped in a rebound after Blues goaltender Brian Elliott stopped a shot from Ales Hemsky.

“I’m very excited after every goal, maybe too excited,” Faksa said. “It’s just part of the game, enjoying every game in the NHL. Just a big excitement for me. It just feels great.”

Antoine Roussel also scored for Dallas, while Kevin Shattenkirk scored for St. Louis.

“Yeah, I thought we played a good game,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.

“Our energy was good. I thought our energy got better as the game went on. I thought we skated well, I thought we defended well. I thought we were physical. It’s a good start to the series for us.”

Dallas lost veteran winger Patrick Eaves to an injury early in the third period. Eaves was struck with a shot by Stephen Johns from the right point and left the ice slowly.

St. Louis tied it 1-1 with 8:28 remaining when Shattenkirk scored on a one-timer from the left point that beat goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

In San Jose, Joel Ward’s tiebreaking goal at 11:49 of the third enabled the Sharks to rally for a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators.

Ward’s fourth career game-winning goal in the playoffs enabled San Jose to take a 1-0 lead in Western Conference series against the Predators. Game two is Sunday at the SAP Center in San Jose.