Blackhawks dominate Stars 6-2; head home to face Flyers
Trips to Dallas aren't quite automatic two points for the Blackhawks yet, but they're certainly playing well in the Stars' home barn.
Tonight's game was about scoring early and often for Chicago, starting with Michael Kostka scoring on his first shot of the game in his first game back after injury.
Patrick Kane would have a breakaway goal ten minutes later to make it 2-0; Brandon Saad would stretch the lead to 3-0 early in the second period.
Patrick Sharp would then score two goals within three minutes in the middle of the second - one on the power play, one even strength - to stretch the lead to 5-0 for the Blackhawks.
The Stars broke the shut out 13:36 in to the second, when Antoine Roussel got Dallas on the board to make it 5-1.
Brandon Saad would get his second of the night with an even-strenth goal in the final minute of the middle frame.
Roussel would also get his second of the night with a goal with 19 seconds left in the game. Roussel has now scored 3 of 7 goals of this season versus the Blackhawks. The two teams will not face each other again until March 25th.
Kari Lehtonen was pulled from the game after Sharp's first goal. Dan Ellis gave up 2 goals in relief.
Antti Raanta made 27 saves (.931 sv%, 2 GAA) to improve his record this season to 4-0-1. Corey Crawford is expected to be out for approximately three weeks; Raanta will be the starter during that time, and Kent Simpson has been recalled from Rockford to be his backup.
The Blackhawks signed Allen York to a PTO for the Rockford IceHogs today. York previously played for the Columbus Blue Jackets, including their AHL (Springfield Falcons) and ECHL (Chicago Express) affiliates. He played in 11 games at the NHL level, going 3-2-0 with 2.30 GAA and .920 sv%. He most recently has had PTOs for the Texas Stars (DAL) and the Charlotte Checkers (CAR).
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The Blackhawks head home to face the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night at the United Center.
So far this season, the Flyers have been struggling to find their groove after firing Peter Laviolette earlier this season. The team is 13-14-3, which puts them at 6th place in the Eastern wild card race, ahead of Columbus, Florida, New York (Islanders), and Buffalo.
After Flyers practice at Johnny's West in Chicago today, Ray Emery (3-5-0, .908 sv%, 2.56 GAA) called his return game to face the Blackhawks "just another game", and said "(you) can't get too caught up in past experiences." While he admitted that it might have been tough to leave the team he had won the Stanley Cup with, he was familiar with Philadelphia and comfortable heading back to the Flyers.
Philadelphia is closing out a 12-day, six-game road trip. They are 2-2-1 so far on the trip.
The Blackhawks are 8-0-2 against Eastern Conference teams so far this season. Their only two losses came against Tampa Bay, the first in a shootout on October 5th, the second in overtime on October 24th.
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Game info: 7:00 p.m. CST / 8:00 p.m. EST; United Center, Chicago
Viewing information: NBCSN; TSN2