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Stars blank Blues, secure playoff berth

Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Kari Lehtonen made 22 saves for his fifth shutout of the season as the Dallas Stars defeated the St. Louis Blues, 3-0, to clinch their first playoff berth since 2008.

The Stars secured the final spot in the Western Conference, eliminating the Phoenix Coyotes in the process.

"We believe we can win. We know how tough it is. I've been through those first round series and they're tough," said Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff. "They're physical and there's a lot of emotion in the first round. We've hardened ourselves by getting in the playoffs via the route we've taken."

Tyler Seguin and Ryan Garbutt both scored while Trevor Daley supplied a goal and an assist. Jamie Benn contributed two assists for Dallas, which won two of its last three.

Ryan Miller stopped 37-of-40 shots in the Blues fifth straight loss. St. Louis was without both David Backes (foot) and T.J. Oshie, who was caught by an illegal hit to the head from Minnesota Wild forward Mike Rupp on Thursday. Rupp was suspended four games for the illegal hit.

"I think this was the best game our goalie has played for us and that was really good to see," Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Off the back-to- back we had some tired legs as the game went on."

St. Louis remains tied with Colorado for the Central Division lead despite the loss. The Avalanche had a chance to clinch the division title, but lost to San Jose on Friday.

After a scoreless first, Dallas opened the scoring at 5:52 of the second. Daley outraced Blues forward Dmitrij Jaskin in the neutral zone to pick up the loose puck. He broke in on a breakaway, made a slick forehand-backhand move, and finished the play off by lifting a backhander over Miller and into the right corner of the net.

Seguin made it 2-0 on the power play. Daley kept the puck in the zone and shuffled it up to Benn in the right corner. Benn sent a pass across the ice to Seguin, who scored on a one-timer.

Garbutt added to the lead in the third after deflecting Alex Goligoski's blast from the right point at 4:27 of the third to account for the final score.

Game Notes

Carlo Colaiacovo played in his 400th game ... Dallas has won five of its last six at home ... Benn extended his point streak to five games ... The Stars won their third straight game against the Blues to take the season series ... Dallas will play its final game of the regular season on Sunday in Phoenix, while St. Louis concludes its season in Detroit on Sunday.