RECAP: Blackhawks extinguish Stars 3–0

  

The Blackhawks came back home after a tough loss to these same Dallas Stars in a shootout, looking to rebound from that and gain more points in the standings. They have been playing much better of late, having picked up points in seven of their last 10 games. Dylan Strome came out of the lineup due to being under concussion protocol, with Kirby Dach sliding back into the second line center role in his place, and Matthew Highmore entered into the lineup for the first time this season. Corey Crawford switched in for Robin Lehner between the pipes, who made 40 saves in the loss and generally looked like he was in his element. The lines and defense pairings were as follows for the Blackhawks:

Saad — Toews — Nylander

DeBrincat — Dach — Kane

Kubalik — Kampf — Shaw

Smith — Carpenter — Highmore

Keith — Gustafsson

De Haan — Seabrook

Maatta — Murphy

Crawford

First period

The Stars got off to a good start against the Blackhawks, putting pressure on Crawford and generally controlling the puck for the first couple of shifts. They continued to press, sending the puck back to the d zone and then back up again. Zack Smith recorded a great opportunity off a steal in the offensive zone, but was stopped by the Stars’ Anton Khudobin. Denis Gurianov got in a good chance on Crawford, but was ultimately shut down and was unable to get much on the shot. Crawford continued to stay sharp, stopping a barrage of shots from Dallas.

Both teams kept things moving, trading chances back and forth, and not allowing really any stoppages in play. Jonathan Toews got a blast in on Khudobin on a pass from Alex Nylander, but that was turned aside as well. Off the face off, Erik Gustafsson took a shot that was redirected by Brandon Saad, who was left all alone in front of the net and redirected the puck past Khudobin for a 1–0 Blackhawks lead.

Just after, the Stars got a good chance with Corey Perry driving to the net, but that was turned aside by Crawford. After that, there was more back and forth, with some big hits being dished out both ways until both sides got some good chances, with Esa Lindell drawing a penalty on his drive to the net, putting the Blackhawks on the penalty kill for the first time in the game. Ryan Carpenter gave him a whack trying to keep him from being able to get a good shot off.

The Blackhawks killed that off without much issue, but with some nice saves made by Crawford. Khudobin had to make a last second save on Andrew Shaw, but did so to keep the score at 1–0 Blackhawks.

Second period

The Stars got off to the same start that they did in the first period, controlling much of the play and getting many shots in on Crawford, even having one go off of the post. Then, things got going back and forth more and more, with few stops for the first few minutes of the period. The Blackhawks got a good chance in front of the net off of a steal by Patrick Kane, but the Blackhawks could not get anything in on goal. Afterward, Alex Radulov got going through the center of the ice and was taken down by Shaw, giving the Stars their second powerplay of the game. Crawford came up with some sensational stops as the Blackhawks were able to kill off the penalty.

The Stars kept the pressure on after that, though, getting more shots on the Blackhawks’ goaltender. Just after the 10-minute mark of the period, the Blackhawks were able to get a couple of good chances from Dach and Kubalik after that which did not get past Khudobin. Calvin de Haan saved a goal for the Blackhawks after Crawford dove to make a stop with the puck sitting behind him without him realizing it. De Haan knocked the puck away, playing goalie with Seabrook to protect the net with Crawford drawn out of it.

Khudobin had to be on his game to keep a Shaw chance out, followed by a DeBrincat chance at around the 15:30 mark of the period. The Blackhawks kept the pressure up, taking the puck away in the offensive zone and allowing for some good scoring opportunities on Khudobin that were turned aside. There was a lot of action, but no more goals to be had. The game went into the intermission with the score still being 1–0 Blackhawks.

Third period

The Stars came out with fire as they had the last couple of periods, stealing some chances and getting a good amount of play in the offensive zone. That is until DeBrincat took the puck down the ice to get a puck in on Khudobin. Shaw and Gustafsson got a couple of good chances in on the Dallas net that were turned aside by Khudobin with some great saves.

Then, there was more back and forth as there was the whole game, with the Blackhawks and Stars trading chances on one side of the ice and then the other. Crawford managed to keep out a flurry of Dallas chances out of the net. The Blackhawks continued to press to add on to their lead, but were stymied by Khudobin with a couple of big saves against the fourth line. Around the nine-minute mark, Crawford answered back on the other end, and then Khudobin would answer at his end of the ice.

Shortly after, Radulov gave the Blackhawks their first power play of the night when he got a stick up high that caught Toews right in the face. DeBrincat started a crazy sequence on the power play, with the puck eventually finding its way to Kane, who waited until some traffic had cleared in front of the net to wrist it past Khudobin, making it 2–0 Blackhawks.

The Stars pulled their goaltender at the 16:27 mark of the period in an attempt to get back into the game, but that backfired when the Stars tried to block a clear from Connor Murphy, which ended up bouncing and rolling down the ice and into the empty net, making it 3–0 Blackhawks. That is how things would finish, with the Blackhawks getting Crawford his first shutout of the year.

The Blackhawks will be heading into a tougher stretch of their season, with back-to-back matchups with the Avalanche on Friday and Saturday night. The first of those two games is on Friday at 3 p.m. CST on NBC Sports Chicago.

Center Ice Forums RECAP: Blackhawks extinguish Stars 3–0

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    Matt Csakai
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    The Blackhawks came back home after a tough loss to these same Dallas Stars in a shootout, looking to rebound from that and gain more points in the st
    [To continue reading full article, click here: RECAP: Blackhawks extinguish Stars 3–0]

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