Marty Reasoner and Scott Young scored first-period goals and Roman Turek came within 52 seconds of his first career playoff shutout as the Blues smothered the Stars, 2-1, to take a two games to none lead in the best-of-seven series.
Already without leading scorer Mike Modano, Dallas lost center Shaun Van Allen to an apparent jaw injury in the first period. Second-line center Joe Nieuwendyk was hobbled by a lingering left knee injury and left wing Brenden Morrow hurt his left arm just over a minute into the game.
St. Louis jumped on the two-time defending conference champions, scoring twice on its first three shots against Ed Belfour.
"I think starts are important when we play Dallas because they play tough for the first 10 minutes, so we wanted to do the same thing to them," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said.
Reasoner, the unlikely hero in Game One with two goals and an assist, put the Blues on top for good 85 seconds into the opening period. Dallas defenseman Darryl Sydor lost the puck inside his own blue line, sending St. Louis in 3-on-none.
Keith Tkachuk broke down the middle and veered left before sliding the puck back across the slot to set up Reasoner for the easy deflection.
"Obviously, we started off playing well. But a screwup by myself and we're behind the eight-ball," Sydor said. "We can't have that. That's two games in a row that's happened. It was like deer in the headlights. I just fell and lost the puck. We've got to fight through this. I've got to fight through it. It put us in a big hole."
Young added a shorthanded goal at 9:32. With teammate Alexei Gusarov serving a high-sticking penalty, Young carried down the right side and used a burst of speed to get around defenseman Sergei Zubov. He continued around the net, drawing Belfour out of position, then came out on the left side and banked a bad-angle shot off the goaltender's left skate and into the net.
It was the Blues' league-leading second shorthanded goal of the postseason. They also have not allowed a power-play goal in the playoffs, killing all 34 penalties.
"We just go out and work hard," said right wing Scott Mellanby, one of St. Louis' penalty-killers. "Guys are paying the price, blocking shots. And Roman's been great."
Dallas was 0-for-5 on the power play and has not scored on its last 24 chances.
The rest was up to Turek, who stopped 28 shots and nearly blanked his former team. After a busy first period, he made only five saves in the second, sliding to stop Grant Marshall from the low left faceoff circle with 50 seconds left on Dallas' best scoring chance.
Turek helped St. Louis kill a four-minute power play in the third period after Al MacInnis clipped John MacLean with a high stick at 7:31. With 4:06 left, he used his stick and left pad to stop a couple of point-blank shots by Nieuwendyk.
"We were doing a good job clogging up the passing lanes. It was key to kill that off and get momentum from that," said Blues captain Chris Pronger, who logged just over 37 minutes in ice time and was out for all but 30 seconds of the four-minute power play.
The Stars finally got one past Turek with 51.4 seconds left as Brett Hull intercepted MacInnis' clearing attempt at the left point and fired a shot that was headed four feet wide of the net. But Nieuwendyk was positioned along the goal line and scored his third playoff goal on a bad-angle deflection.
"(A shutout) would have been nice, but we win tonight and both games here. It's an unbelievable feeling," Turek said. "We just have to continue to play the same type of hockey."
Modano sat out with what team officials described as a mild left ankle sprain suffered in a Game One collision with Gusarov. Van Allen took a puck to the face after getting a piece of MacInnis' shot with just over seven minutes to go in the first period.
Nieuwendyk's injury dates to Game Two of the conference quarterfinals against Edmonton. He was slow to get up after Mike Eastwood took him down late in the first period, limped back to the bench after tangling with Young with 5 1/2 minutes to go in the second and needed extra treatment before coming out for the third.
Morrow was checked by defenseman Chris Pronger and landed on his left arm.
"You can say we didn't have our star player in the lineup. When you have a guy of that caliber out, it hurts," Sydor said.
"Van Allen's been an important player for us. We were scrambling there for a while," added Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock. "We had Brenden Morrow playing center and he's never played center in a National Hockey League game."
Blues rookie defenseman Bryce Salvador did not return after Stars captain Derian Hatcher rammed him into the end boards and left his face bloodied just over five minutes into the second period.
Dallas has overcame a two games to none deficit just once, rallying against Los Angeles to take the 1968 quarterfinals in seven games.
This series resumes Tuesday night in St. Louis.
"It's a must-win game for us. It's as big a must-win game as there is," Hatcher said. "So far, we've given them five goals through the first two games. We did a lot of right things tonight, we have to keep doing that."
"We know what a good team Dallas is on the road, so we're not taking anything for granted," said Blues right wing Dallas Drake.