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Red-hot Huet, Blackhawks defeat Stars

DALLAS (Ticker) -- Cristobal Huet is proving to be more than a

capable fill-in for the Chicago Blackhawks while Nikolai

Khabibulin is on the mend.

Huet came within less than eight minutes of his second straight

shutout as the Blackhawks defeated the Dallas Stars, 3-1,

Saturday for their fourth straight victory.

"It's been a good stretch," Huet said. "I think we achieved

what we wanted to achieve."

With the victory, Chicago completed its first season sweep of

Dallas since the Stars relocated from Minnesota in 1993. The

Blackhawks went 4-0 against the Stars, outscoring them, 20-8.

"I think we have a good system, good players and we work hard,"

Huet added. "That's three reasons right there (for the success

against Dallas)."

Making his fifth straight start with Khabibulin on injured

reserve due to a lower back injury, Huet extended his scoreless

streak to 139 minutes, 53 seconds before Dallas' Steve Ott

scored on a breakaway with 8:29 remaining.

"We just can't seem to get points against these guys," Dallas

coach Dave Tippett said. "These are points that we need."

Huet, who blanked Florida, 4-0, in his last start Thursday,

allowed his first goal since the second period of Tuesday's 5-3

win at Tampa Bay. He finished with 30 saves.

"I thought all facets of our game were in order," Chicago coach

Joel Quenneville said.

Defenseman James Wisniewski celebrated his 25th birthday by

opening the scoring with just his second goal of the season with

3:56 left in the first period while the Blackhawks were on the

power play.

"We didn't skate this morning," Huet said. "I felt good.

Getting that first goal in the first period was big."

Patrick Kane and defenseman Matt Walker, who tallied his first

of the season, provided insurance in the second. It was only

the second career goal for Walker, a six-year veteran playing in

his 220th NHL game.

Dallas netminder Marty Turco stopped 33 shots, including a

breakaway attempt by Dustin Byfuglien with nine minutes

remaining in the contest to keep the Stars in the game.

Seconds later, Trevor Daley sprung Ott on a breakaway, and he

got Dallas on the board by moving to his forehand and flipping a

shot over Huet's shoulder.

But Chicago's defense made things easy for Huet by limiting good

scoring chances in the final minutes, just as it had done


"Losing four games to these guys is disheartening, especially

the last two games against them," Turco said. "They're a

talented group of guys that play really fast."

The Blackhawks ripped Dallas, 6-2, in Chicago a week ago.

"The last two times we've played them, they've taken it to us,"

Stars center Brian Sutherby said. "They force us to dump pucks.

They make us chase the game, and we are just not skating."

Chicago went 7-2 on a stretch in which it played eight of nine

games on the road.

"It's been a long time since we've been home," Quenneville said.

"On this particular (three-game) trip, I thought we've had three

solid road performances."

The Blackhawks return home Sunday to host Minnesota, and Huet

wants to play in the back-to-back games.

"It's up to the coach," he said. "I have a lot of gas left in

the tank."


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