Blackhawks hoping to snap Dallas' winning streak
After an entertaining win for the Blackhawks against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday, the Blackhawks (10-2-4) are in Dallas to play the Stars (8-6-2). The Stars are riding a hot streak after netting their 3rd consecutive win against Detroit on Thursday, while the Blackhawks win against the Jets came after an OT loss against Calgary.
The Blackhawks played a tight game Wednesday, and while the goals came from their top 2 lines, the bottom 2 lines are not to be dismissed, as they were active and energetic. The Stars have brought Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin back together on their top line, and the chemistry has worked really well for them, as the two of them are tied for first in points for the Stars, with 15 each.
After what could have seemed like a slight crisis of confidence, Patrick Kane was on top of his game against Winnipeg, when he potted a wrister just six seconds into the second frame, his 9th of the season. It was the game’s second goal, after captain Jonathan Toews’ scored right after taking 2 penalty minutes at the end of the first period. The Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp and Brandon Pirri also scored for Chicago, a strong showing for the top lines that have had troubles with producing offense recently.
The Stars have won their last 3 games, but they were all overtime or shootout situations. They’ve only won 4 games in regulation, letting the extra point slip often. They had a hard time of it during goaltender Kari Lehtonen’s injury, but with his return, the Stars have managed more wins than losses. His .934 save percentage is stellar, and he is one of the strongest pieces of the Stars’ rebuild. Seguin has worked well and hard for Dallas since his surprise trade from Boston this summer. He’s got 15 points in 16 games and is on track for a great season, and his recent performance under pressure upon returning to Boston was admirable.
Corey Crawford continues to be strong for the Blackhawks, with a .921 SV%, and he will start for the Blackhawks tomorrow. We can expect Lehtonen to be in goal for Dallas.
The Blackhawks’ power play has improved a lot from last season, but their penalty kill, one of their strongest points last year, is still struggling, and they’re sitting at the bottom of the league with a 74.4% kill percentage. Dallas is 13th in the league with 83.3%, but their power play is at only 13.5%, so it will be interesting to see if they manage to convert on the Blackhawks.
It should be a good first match-up between these two Conference rivals.
Game time is 8.00 p.m. ET and can be seen live on WGN, and FS-SW+.