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Stars look for first winning streak as they host Blackhawks

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

season.

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.

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