Stars-Blackhawks Preview

Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks
Monday April 15
7:00 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (21-17-3) won their fifth straight game, defeating San Jose 2-1 at American Airlines Center Saturday evening. Eric Nystrom and Alex Chiasson scored goals for the Stars and Richard Bachman stopped 31 of 32 shots.

“I think we are starting to carve out an identity and figuring out why we are successful,” said Nystrom, who scored 1:57 into the game to give Dallas a 1-0 lead. “There’s a certain way we have to play. We are not a high-risk team. When we tried that earlier in the year we just got picked apart. Now we are playing a more straight-line game. We’re getting pucks in, we’re getting bodies to the net and we’re paying the price. That’s what it takes to win. The best teams might have more skill, but they are still doing those little things that make the difference between winning and losing. We’re finding the way of what that takes.”

The win moved the Stars into eighth place in the Western Conference, but they were back in ninth Sunday evening when Detroit won at Nashville. The Stars can climb back into the top eight with a win Monday.

The Stars play four of their next five games on the road, where they have won three straight and four of the last five.

Injuries: G Kari Lehtonen (groin) is questionable. LW Lane MacDermid (chest) is out.

About the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks (32-5-4) won 2-0 at St. Louis Sunday afternoon. It was the fifth straight win for the Blackhawks, who have not lost in regulation in their last eight games (7-0-1).

“We want to play our best games going into playoffs,” said Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford, who stopped 30 shots for his third shutout of the season. “This team is a good test for us, for playoff hockey. They play hard, they play physical. They were trying to get us off our game but we stuck with the way we play and waited for our chances.”

Chicago has posted shutouts in three of its last five games.

Monday’s game against the Stars begins a three game homestand for the Blackhawks, who are 15-3-2 at United Center this season.

Injuries:  F Patrick Sharp (upper body) is day-to-day.

Series Notes

*This is the third and final meeting between the Stars and Blackhawks.

*The Stars are 0-1-1 in the season series and the Blackhawks are 2-0-0.

*January 24, Chicago at Dallas: Blackhawks 3, Stars 2 (OT)
*March 15, Chicago at Dallas, Blackhawks 8, Stars 1

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars have outscored their opponents 20-9 (including goals awarded for shootout wins) over their five-game winning streak.

*The Blackhawks have outscored their opponents 11-5 (including goals awarded for shootout wins) during their five-game winning streak, and have posted three shutouts.

*The Stars have outscored their opponents 16-6 during five-on-five play over the last five games.

*The Blackhawks have outscored their opponents 10-4 during five-on-five play over the last five games.

*The Stars have scored 19 goals on 127 shots over the last five games for a team shooting percentage of 15.0 percent.

*The Blackhawks have allowed 5 goals on 121 shots over the last five games for a team save percentage of 95.9 percent.

*Chicago is 0-15 on the power play over the last eight games.

*Chicago is 25-26 (96.2 percent) on the penalty kill over the last 13 games.

Statistical matchup

Category Stars Blackhawks
Record 21-17-3 32-5-4
Home 10-9-2 15-3-2
Away 11-8-1 17-2-2
Last 5 5-0-0 5-0-0
Last 10 6-4-0 8-1-1
Streak Won 5 Won 5
Goals/game 2.78 (9th) 3.12 (3rd)
Goals against/game 2.93 (24th) 1.98 (1st)
5-on-5  F/A 1.04  (14th) 1.60 (1st)
Power play 17.4 (18th) 15.9 (21st)
Penalty kill 81.2 (17th) 85.8 (5th)
Shots/game 26.6 (28th) 31.3 (5th)
Shots against/game 30.8 (22nd) 26.2 (4th)
Faceoffs 47.7 (25th) 50.7 (11th)
Team Leaders Stars Blackhawks
Goals Eriksson, Whitney: 10 Kane, Toews: 20
Assists: Goligoski: 21 Kane: 26
Points: Benn: 27 Kane: 46
Goaltenders Lehtonen: 14-11-2, 2.67, .916
Bachman: 6-3-0, 3.18, .884
Nilstorp, 1-3-1, 3.09, .897
Crawford: 17-4-4, 1.92, .926
Emery: 15-1-0, 1.90, .924

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