The Blues celebrate a goal by Jaden Schwartz which capped a three-goal flurry in the first period Saturday night against Dallas.. (Scott Rovak/St. Louis Blues)

By Rob Rains

One of the goals coming into this season for the Blues was to get their defensemen more involved in the team’s offense.

Two games into the season, that is working out pretty well.

The Blues’ first two goals Saturday night came from defensemen Carl Gunnarsson and Joel Edmundson, sending the Blues to a 4-2 win in their home opener over the Dallas Stars at Scottrade Center.

The goals followed two goals from Alex Pietrangelo and one by Colton Parayko in their first game of the season, meaning five of the team’s nine goals in the first two games have been scored by defensemen.

It’s the first time in team history the Blues had goals from four different defensemen in the season’s first two games.

“We believe we have a group of defensemen who can get involved; that they have the ability and on top of that the hockey sense to recognize when it’s there and not put us in a vulnerable position,” said coach Mike Yeo.

Jaden Schwartz followed the two goals from the defensemen with the Blues’ third goal in a five-minute flurry in the first period to make it a 3-0 lead, and the Blues relied on goalie Jake Allen to preserve the lead and move to 2-0 on the season.

Pietrangelo followed his two-goal came on Wednesday night with two assists against the Stars, including setting up the first goal of the year from Vladimir Tarasenko, just six seconds into a power-play in the third period.

“It alleviates some of the pressure on the forwards,” Pietrangelo said about the scoring from the defensemen. “It’s what our system is built on. Now that we’ve played this system for a while and gone through a training camp we’re getting a lot of momentum in the offensive zone and that’s what’s creating our opportunities.”

Allen, for one, is appreciative of the extra offense.

“They’re not sitting back when that puck’s on that blue line,” Allen said. “Obviously throwing pucks at the net is crucial, but keeping your head up and being able to make that extra play and patience with the puck. Every player’s skilled in this league, it doesn’t matter if they’re D-men or a forward. If they have the opportunities and they can make the most of them, I think that’s just what they’re doing right now.”

Gunarrson started the outburst for the Blues with a shot off at Dallas skate whch deflected past goalie Keri Lehtonen 9:50 into the first period. Edmundson’s goal followed 1:24 later, before Schwartz added his first of the year.

Allen lost his shutout bid 2:48 into the third period on a power-play goal from John Klingberg. The Stars also added a goal by Mattias Janmark later in the period.

The loss dropped the Stars to 0-2 under new coach Ken Hitchcock, who was frustrated by the fact the Stars had 40 shots and had just two goals. They only scored one goal on 46 shots in their season opening loss to Las Vegas at home on Friday night.

Lehtonen allowed the three St. Louis goals on consecutive shots in the first period as the Blues went on to win their sixth consecutive home game over the Stars.

The loss kept Dallas and former Blues coach Ken Hitchcock at 781 career wins, one shy of tying Al Arbour for third on the NHL list for most career victories.

Center Martin Hanzel left the game with a lower-body injury in the second period and did not return. He is scheduled to be re-evaluated on Sunday.

NOTES:
Dallas G Ben Bishop was cleared to play after having to come out of Friday night’s game when he was hit in the head by a puck but the Stars kept with their original plan to start backup Kari Lehtonen against the Blues. Bishop, a St. Louis native, is just 1-5-1 in his career against his hometown team. … The Blues could learn next week when RW Alexander Steen (hand) and D Jay Bouwmeester (ankle) will be ready to play. … The Stars inserted RW Adam Cracknell into their lineup in place of C Gemel Smith. … The game was the only home game in the first two weeks of the season for the Blues, who play seven of their first nine games on the road. They begin a four-game trip on Monday with a Columbus Day afternoon game against the Islanders in New York.