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Dallas Stars (12-9-4) at Chicago Blackhawks (20-4-4)

December 3rd, 2013 at 6:43 PM
By Andrew McIntyre

After a seven-game road trip which saw them go 6-1-0, the Chicago Blackhawks are back home to play host to the Dallas Stars. The Blackhawks have won six in a row, while the Stars have dropped four of their last five. Tonight's game will be the third of five meetings between the teams, with the Blackhawks winning the previous two. The last meeting came just four days ago where the teams needed to go 11 rounds in a shootout to find a winner.

Here are some notes for tonight's game:

  • Last Friday, the Blackhawks came back down 1-0 to beat the Stars 2-1 in a shootout. This was Dallas' first loss when leading after two periods. Ben Smith scored the shootout winner.
  • The Blackhawks lead the Central Division and NHL with 44 points. The Stars are last place in the Central Division with 28 points.
  • Duncan Keith enters tonight on a seven-game point streak, tallying nine assists over that stretch. Keith's 23 assists on the season rank tied for third in the NHL.
  • Blackhawks forward Michal Handzus is ill and it doesn't look like he will be in the lineup tonight. Sheldon Brookbank could potentially fill in at forward with Brandon Pirri moving up to Handzus' spot on the second line.
  • Forward Tyler Seguin leads the Stars with 12 goals and is second on the team with 23 points. He will be out of the lineup due to experiencing concussion-like symptoms. 
  • The Stars have the worst power play in the league, converting only 10.5% of the time. The Blackhawks were ranked last in the league in penalty killing but have since moved to 28th, killing penalties off 74.7% of the time.

Battle Between The Pipes

Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford (17-4-3, 2.36 GAA, .913 SV%)

Crawford has won four straight games, allowing only six goals over that stretch. He has already defeated the Stars twice this season and will look to make it three tonight.

Dallas Stars: Kari Lehtonen (10-5-4, 2.18 GAA, .926 SV%)

Lehtonen is 0-2-2 in his last four games, giving up 11 goals over that stretch. He has lost both games to the Blackhawks this season, allowing a total of five goals on 56 shots. He will hope that the third time is the charm tonight.

Players To Watch

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Patrick Sharp: 10 G, 13 A, 23 P

Sharp has one goal and four assists in the two games against Dallas this season. Sharp ranks fourth on the team in goals and points. 

Dallas Stars: Forward, Jamie Benn: 7 G, 17 A, 24 P

Benn leads the Stars with 24 points, but has failed to pick up a point in four of his last five games. Benn is slowly developing into one of the better forwards in this league.

X Factors

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Kris Versteeg: 3 G, 8 A, 11 P

Versteeg has four points since joining the Blackhawks last month, but has failed to register a point in his last five games. Although not showing up in the stat sheet, Versteeg has been solid for the Blackhawks and has added another dimension to their team.

Dallas Stars: Forward, Cody Eakin: 6 G, 8 A, 14 P

Eakin is in his second year with the Stars and is off to a decent start. His six goals and 14 points rank fourth on the team. Eakin scored in the first meeting between the teams and will try to find the back of the net again tonight.

Tonight's game starts at 7 pm. CT.

Let's Go Hawks!

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