Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks
The Dallas Stars traveled to Chicago and defeated a struggling Blackhawks team 4-2 in a Central Division battle on Thursday night. Dallas has swept Chicago in all four meetings for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
During the first period of action, the Stars (32-19-4) struggled with offensive production due to turnovers. It was not until the halfway point when Dallas gained momentum. Jonathan Towes, the Blackhawks’ captain, drew first blood when he skated down the left side and beat Ben Bishop clean on the blocker side. The Stars finished the period outshooting the Blackhawks 14-12. Each team had a power play, but neither converted. A power play is a term used when an opposing player commits a penalty and the non-offending team has a man advantage. The Blackhawks led 1-0 at the end of the first period.
The second period of the game was packed with action. The Stars and the Blackhawks (24-22-8) picked up the physical play. Tyler Seguin found twine for the Stars off a pass from Alexander Radulov to begin the period. After only 50 seconds, the Stars’ Stephen Johns, a former Blackhawk, scored from the blue line to record his seventh goal of the season, a career high for this defenseman. On the Stars’ third penalty of the game, Artem Anisimov contributed with a power play goal. Toward the end of period, Martin Hanzal left the game with a leg injury, but he later returned. Julius Honka was injured as well, but he did not return. Right before the buzzer, Tyler Pitlick scored with a hard slap shot with 4 seconds left on the clock to give the Stars a lead. The Stars were outshot 17-9, but Dallas finished the period leading 3-2.
The Blackhawks went right back to work in the third period, outshooting the Stars 10-7. As the period progressed, the physicality increased. Tommy Wingels delivered a huge hit on Radulov, and Jamie Benn, the Stars’ captain, immediately skated over in defense of his teammate. Benn was ready to fight, but Wingels didn’t want to drop the gloves, resulting in an unsportmanlike conduct penalty against Dallas. Seguin recorded his second goal on an empty net, which sealed the win for Dallas.
Bishop shined for Dallas, stopping 37 of 39 shots on goal. Seguin recorded his 25th and 26th goals of the season, extending his point streak to four games. Dallas recorded four penalties, but that didn’t stop the Stars from gaining two points in the Central Division standings. The Blackhawks’ losing streak has reached four games, while the Stars have extended their win streak to four games.