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Stars-Blackhawks Preview

Monday, 12.09.2013 / 9:28 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Blackhawks Preview
Previewing Tuesday night\'s tilt between the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks.

Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars
Tuesday, December 10
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (14-9-5) are coming off a 5-1 victory over Philadelphia at American Airlines Center on Saturday. The Stars scored three goals in a 1:02 span of the second period to turn a 1-1 game into a 4-1 Dallas lead. Tyler Seguin had three goals and one assist and Valeri Nichushkin had one goal and three assists.

The victory pushed the Stars’ points streak to six games (3-0-3), and gave them a 9-3-4 mark over the last 16 games.

“Our guys played extremely well,” said goaltender Dan Ellis, who stopped 27 of 28 shots. “We’ve got so many young guys in the lineup right now stepping in. It’s a testament to our depth. It’s been fantastic and we want to keep it going.”

The Stars lost center Vernon Fiddler to an upper body injury in the first period of Saturday’s game. He’s expected to miss this week’s games.

This will be the Stars’ third game in the last 12 days against the Blackhawks and the fourth in the last month.

“More of the same,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said when asked what he expected Tuesday. “They are a real dangerous counterpunch team. If you are careless with the puck or don’t do the right things, their counterpunch will kill you. At the same time, when we are on top of our game, we can give them all they can handle with our speed. The Chicago game (Tuesday) was a low-energy game for our team, and I expect our energy level to be right up there again.”

Dallas recalled forward Colton Sceviour from the AHL on Monday.

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

Injuries: C Vernon Fiddler (upper body), D Trevor Daley (ankle) and D Stephane Robidas (leg) are out.

About the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks (21-6-5) snapped a three-game winless streak with a 6-2 win over Florida at United Center on Sunday. Six different players scored for Chicago, which was 3-4 on the power play and was a perfect 5-5 on the penalty kill.

"It shows how important special teams can be in the course of a game, not only the power play, scoring, but our penalty kill had some big kills," said Chicago forward Patrick Sharp, who scored on the power play and chipped in two assists as well. "It's not always the most important thing in the game, but it helped us out big time."

The victory did come at a cost. The Blackhawks lost goaltender Corey Crawford to a lower body injury in the first period. He is out for Tuesday’s game and did not travel with the team.

The Blackhawks recalled Kent Simpson from Rockford of the AHL on Monday. To make room for Simpson, the Blackhawks placed forward Bryan Bickell on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 19.

Antti Raanta, who made 29 saves in relief of Crawford on Sunday, is expected to start Tuesday in goal for Chicago. Raanta is 3-0-1 with a 2.16 goals against average and .922 save percentage.

Injuries: G Corey Crawford (lower body), G Nikolai Khabibulin (lower body) and LW Bryan Bickell (lower body) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the fourth of five meetings between the two teams.

*The Stars are 1-1-1 (3 points) in the season series.

*The Blackhawks are 2-1-0 (4 points).

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

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

*December 3, Dallas at Chicago: Stars 4, Blackhawks 3

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 9-3-4 (22 points) over their last 16 games.

*The Blackhawks are 11-4-1 (23 points) over their last 16 games.

*The Blackhawks are 6-19 (31.6 percent) on the power play over the last five games.

*The Stars are 6-68 (8.8 percent) on the power play over their last20 games, and are 1-42 (2.4 percent) at home.

*Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin has points in 3 straight games (2 goals, 5 assists).

*Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has points in 5 straight games (1 goal, 8 assists).

*Kane leads the Blackhawks in goals (16) and points (37).

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (15) and points (27).

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 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 61 23 37 -1 60
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 61 14 37 -3 51
E. Cole 56 18 14 4 32
J. Klingberg 47 10 22 4 32
T. Daley 58 16 15 -11 31
A. Hemsky 55 9 17 -7 26
A. Goligoski 61 2 24 4 26
C. Eakin 58 12 13 -3 25
A. Roussel 59 11 11 -11 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 25 13 9 .906 2.96
J. Enroth 13 24 2 .900 3.31
 
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