Chicago (8-4-5) at Dallas (6-8-3), 8:30 p.m. EST
DALLAS (Ticker) — The Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks have
a little in common. Both recently snapped three-game winless
streaks with victories over the Phoenix Coyotes – by identical
scores of 3-2, no less.
More than a month into the season, the Western Conference foes
have found their fortunes moving in opposite directions. The
Stars will try to get on track on Thursday as they host the
Blackhawks, looking for their first winning streak of the
For Dallas, its early struggles are unexpected. The Stars
advanced to the Western Conference finals last season but have
failed to garner any momentum as the end of the season’s second
month draws closer. They sit in the basement of the Pacific
Division – and in fact, are just one point away from the worst
record in the league.
The Blackhawks, meanwhile, haven’t made the playoffs since the
2001-02 campaign but are currently in second place through 17
games. One of the league’s highest-scoring teams with 58 goals,
Chicago saw its four-game winning streak come to an end on
November 12 and suffered through a rough week before Tuesday’s
triumph over the Coyotes.
The Blackhawks hosted the Stars three weeks ago and came away
with a 5-2 victory, scoring three unanswered goals over the last
period-and-a-half to get the job done against Dallas’ backup
goaltender, Tobias Stephan.
Not that the team’s starter, Marty Turco, would necessarily have
made a difference. The 33-year-old All-Star has posted just a
3.58 goals against average and a subpar 5-7-3 record.
However, he’s had his way with the Blackhawks throughout his
career. In 17 career starts, he has a 14-2-1 mark with a 1.78
GAA and three shutouts.