Preview/Game thread: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Dallas Stars

  

Chicago Blackhawks (9–9–5) vs. Dallas Stars (14–8–2)

7 p.m. CST
United Center
TV/Radio: NBCSN/WGN

Projected starting goaltenders

Chicago — Corey Crawford (4–5–2, .914 save percentage, 3.02 goals against average)
Dallas — Anton Khudobin (8–5–1, .926 save percentage, 2.25 goals against average)

Team statistics

Power play
Chicago (12.5%, 28th)
Dallas (12.8%, 27th)

Penalty kill
Chicago (80.7%, 18th)
Dallas (85.0%, Seventh)

Shots for/against
Chicago (30.7, 20th; 37.0, 31st)
Dallas (30.8, 19th; 30.4, Fourth)

Shooting percentage
Chicago (9.4%)
Dallas (9.1%)

Face off percentage
Chicago (49.0%, 22nd)
Dallas (52.8%, Fourth)

Projected lines and pairings

Chicago Blackhawks

Brandon Saad — Jonathan Toews — Alexander Nylander
Alex DeBrincat — Dylan Strome — Patrick Kane
Dominik Kubalik — David Kampf — Andrew Shaw
Ryan Carpenter — Kirby Dach  Zack Smith

Duncan Keith — Erik Gustafsson
Calvin de Haan — Brent Seabrook
Olli Maatta  Connor Murphy

Dallas Stars

Jamie Benn  Justin Dowling — Tyler Seguin
Denis Gurianov — Joe Pavelski  Alexander Radulov
Andrew Cogliano — Radek Faksa — Roope Hintz
Mattias Janmark — Jason Dickinson — Corey Perry

Esa Lindell John Klingberg
Jamie Oleksiak Miro Heiskanen
Andrej Sekera — Roman Polak

Analysis

It is deja vu for the Blackhawks as they once again take on the Dallas Stars. In their last meeting, Robin Lehner turned in another Herculean effort. He made 40 saves on 41 shots during regulation and overtime. Lehner’s Achilles heel reared its ugly head on Saturday night in Dallas. Historically weak in the shootout, Lehner continued that trend this season. Lehner did not stop a single shooter during the shootout. Despite poor shootout results, he now leads the NHL in save percentage with a .938 save percentage.

On a night when the Blackhawks needed their high-octane offense to get off the ground, they sputtered with only one regulation goal, which was Olli Maatta’s first of the season. The Maatta goal did help extend Patrick Kane‘s season-long point streak. The streak now stands at 12 games and he will be looking to continue the streak tonight.

Despite all the impressive numbers from Lehner, though, Chicago will turn to Corey Crawford on Tuesday, as the Blackhawks continue to generally adhere to their goalie rotation. Now, Crawford has not been a slouch in the net. He has played better than his season averages as of late, going 3–1–2 with a 2.50 goals against average and .933 save percentage.

The major difference between the last two meetings will be Crawford in net and rest. While the Blackhawks have not played a game since Saturday night, the Stars defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in Dallas last night and will be playing in their third back-to-back this season.

The troubling thing for the Blackhawks is that the Stars’ offense got rolling against the Golden Knights. Alexander Radulov netted himself two goals and John Klingberg had three assists. With Ben Bishop getting the start against Vegas, the Blackhawks figure to see Anton Khudobin in net again. Khudobin allowed one goal on 39 chances and no goals in the shootout. His 38-save effort tied a career-high for Khudobin and was his second 38-save game this season.

Can the Blackhawks solve Khudobin this time around or will Khudobin continue his impressive play?

Center Ice Forums Preview/Game thread: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Dallas Stars

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