Stars-Blackhawks Preview

Monday, 12.2.2013 / 8:28 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Blackhawks Preview

Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks
Tuesday, December 3
7:00 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (12-9-4) are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers at American Airlines Center on Sunday. The Stars registered a season-high 45 shots on goal, but scored two goals or fewer for the fifth time in the last six games.

“We’ve got to find a way to bear down. I think we’ve been saying that for a few games now,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “We’re putting up a lot of shots each game, we’ve just got to find a way to get greasier goals in the dirty areas. That’s the way you’re going to score goals. It’s obviously not easy, but we’ve got to find a way.”

Tuesday’s game against Chicago will be the third for the Stars in the last three-and-a-half weeks. The Stars have played the Blackhawks well in the previous two games, but have only one point to show for it.

“We need to do better,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We need points, obviously. We’ve played them hard, we’ve played them well but we need to get points. We need wins. It’s as simple as that.”

Center Tyler Seguin, who missed Sunday’s game with concussion-like symptoms, skated prior to the teams’ practice on Monday. He is listed as day-to-day.

“He’s feeling a lot better,” Ruff said. “We’re encouraged that this might be only a couple days.”

Jamie Oleksiak played Sunday in the spot of injured defenseman Stephane Robidas (leg fracture), but Ruff said he would like to get Kevin Connauton into a game soon. It’s not clear if that will be Tuesday.

“I want to play him too,” Ruff said. “He’s been here, he’s worked hard. We’ve got some options now, and we can utilize both guys.”

The Stars placed D Aaron Rome on injured reserve Monday and recalled C Travis Morin from the Texas Stars of the AHL.

Kari Lehtonen is the likely starter in goal for the Stars.

Injuries: C Tyler Seguin (concussion-like symptoms) is day-to-day. D Stephane Robidas (leg) and D Aaron Rome (muscle injury) are out.

About the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks (20-4-4) made it six straight wins with a 5-2 victory at Phoenix Saturday. The Blackhawks wrapped up their seven-game road trip with a 6-1-0 record. The long trip in late November is an annual event for the Blackhawks due to the circus being at the United Center in Chicago.

“It's a long time to be away from home, but we heard it's the best 'Circus Trip' in the history of the Hawks," said Chicago forward Patrick Kane, who had one goal and one assist in the game. "If you told us before the trip that we'd be 6-1, I think we'd all be happy with that. We didn't start off the way we wanted to [a loss to Colorado on Nov. 19] but it definitely finished the way we wanted to.”

The Blackhawks outscored their opposition 22-10 over the final six games of the trip, and they allowed only seven goals over the final five games.

Chicago, which is 9-1-3 at home, plays three of its next four games at the United Center.

Corey Crawford will start in goal for Chicago.

Injuries: F Bryan Bickell (lower body), G Nikolai Khabibulin (lower body) and D Mike Kostka (lower body) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the third of five meetings between the Stars and Blackhawks.

*The Stars are 0-1-1 (1 point) in the season series.

*The Blackhawks are 2-0-0 (4 points).

*November 9, Chicago at Dallas: Blackhawks 5, Stars 2

*November 29, Chicago at Dallas: Blackhawks 2, Stars 1 (SO)

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 4-57 (7.0 percent) on the power play over the last 17 games, and were ranked 30th in the league at 10.5 percent through Sunday’s games.

*Chicago is 28th ranked on the penalty kill at 74.7 percent.

*Chicago leads the NHL in goal scoring at 3.50 per game.

*The Stars are 13th in goal scoring at 2.68 per game.

*Chicago has allowed two goals or fewer over its last five games.

*The Stars have scored two goals or fewer in five of its last six games.

*Stars forward Ryan Garbutt has 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) in the last 3 games.

*Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has 19 points (9 goals, 10 assists) in the last 15 games.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
6 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
7 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
8 NSH 55 25 21 9 142 148 59
9 ARI 54 25 23 6 143 164 56
10 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
11 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 55 28 34 16 62
T. Seguin 55 28 32 11 60
J. Klingberg 55 10 36 14 46
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 55 16 24 -2 40
A. Goligoski 55 4 20 16 24
C. Eakin 55 10 13 0 23
M. Janmark 55 10 10 14 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 52 6 13 7 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 15 5 0 .912 2.79
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