Preview/Game Thread: Blackhawks vs. Stars

  

Dallas Stars (42–31–7) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (35–33–12)

7:30 p.m. CST
United Center
TV/Radio: NBCSCH/WGN

PROJECTED STARTERS

ChicagoCorey Crawford (14–18–5, save percentage: .907, goals against average: 2.96)
Dallas Anton Khudobin (16–16–5, save percentage: .926, goals against average: 2.47)

TEAM STATISTICS

Power Play
Chicago (20.5 percent, 12th)
Dallas (20.5 percent, 14th)

Penalty Kill
Chicago (73.1 percent, 31st)
Dallas (82.4 percent, Fifth)

Shorts for/against
Chicago (32.6, 11th; 34.6, 30th)
Dallas (30.5, 21st; 31.7, 18th)

Shooting Percentage
Chicago (9.9 percent, Ninth)
Dallas (8.4 percent, 28th)

Faceoff Percentage
Chicago (49.4 percent, T-20th)
Dallas (51.9 percent, Fourth)

Average height and weight
Chicago 6’1”, 197 lbs.
Dallas 6’2”, 207 lbs.

PROJECTED LINES/PAIRINGS

Chicago Blackhawks

Drake CaggiulaJonathan ToewsPatrick Kane

Alex DeBrincatDylan StromeBrendan Perlini

Brandon SaadArtem AnisimovDominik Kahun

Chris KunitzMarcus KrugerJohn Hayden

Duncan KeithErik Gustafsson

Gustav ForslingBrent Seabrook

Carl DahlstromConnor Murphy

Dallas Stars

Jason DickinsonTyler SeguinAlexander Radulov

Jamie BennRoope HintzMats Zuccarello

Andrew CoglianoRadek FaksaBlake Comeau

Mattias JanmarkJason SpezzaTyler Pitlick

Esa LindellJohn Klingberg

Miro HeiskanenRoman Polak

Taylor FedunBen Lovejoy

Analysis

Coming off their 4—3 victory against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, the Blackhawks look to continue playing the role of spoiler as they welcome the Dallas Stars to the United Center.

The Stars enter play on Friday firmly cemented in one of the two wild card positions in the West. The Stars can’t move up, but they can certainly fall to the second wild card spot if the Colorado Avalanche continue to collect points.

The Blackhawks can play spoiler and aid in setting the Stars up to play the top seed in the Western Conference, the Calgary Flames. A tough matchup such as this one could spell a quick end to the Stars’ playoff run.

At this point, this game is essentially meaningless for the Blackhawks. They are too high in the standings to get a lottery pick (unless they luck out), so they will probably pick somewhere between 10 and 15.

That said, a team with nothing to lose is a dangerous team. The Stars need to be cautious on Friday night, otherwise, they could fall into the second wild card spot and be set for a date with the talented Calgary Flames, who may be the most complete team in the Western Conference.

Comment below in our live game thread tonight!

And look for the internet’s most robust recap of the game tomorrow morning on the-rink.com.

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