Posted March 15, 2012 on AP on Fox
The Chicago Blackhawks wouldn't have qualified for last season's playoffs if not for the Dallas Stars' season-ending defeat. Having earned at least one point in six of their last seven games, the Blackhawks are trying to make it back to the postseason on their own despite Jonathan Toews' lengthy absence. Even with its captain healthy, Chicago has struggled against Dallas lately and may face more trouble against a red-hot Stars team seeking to bounce back from a rare regulation defeat Friday night. The Blackhawks (38-25-8) finished two points ahead of the Stars in 2010-11 Western Conference standings thanks to Dallas' 5-3 loss in Minnesota on the season's final day. Chicago helped its chances in this season's race and perhaps got a big boost mentally with a 4-3 shootout win over league points leader St. Louis on Tuesday. Chicago trailed 3-1 after the first period, but Corey Crawford stymied the Blues thereafter in relief of Ray Emery. He made 18 saves and stopped all three shooters in the extra session for his first win since Feb. 21. "I just had to make sure I had a key save at a certain time in the game," Crawford said. "I was hungry. ... That's a huge two points for us." That game was the Blackhawks' 11th in a row without Toews, who is suffering from an upper-body injury believed to be a concussion. Toews has resumed practicing but hasn't been cleared for contact. Chicago is 6-4-1 in his absence and 5-1-1 over its last seven. The Blackhawks' 84 points are one more than Dallas (39-27-5), but the Stars have a better chance to finish higher in the standings because they're challenging for their first Pacific Division title since 2005-06. Dallas surged into contention for that crown with a 10-0-1 run but had trouble with a well-rested Winnipeg during a 5-2 defeat Wednesday. The Stars were playing the second of back-to-back games, while the Jets had the benefit of four days off. After shutting out consecutive opponents, Dallas gave up all five goals in the first 36:12 as its season-high, six-game win streak came to an end. "We beat ourselves. We didn't play well. We turned pucks over way too easy," defenseman Stephane Robidas told the team's website. "We didn't play a simple game like we've been doing in the past 11, 12 games. We just got to go back to basics." The Blackhawks will have had one more day of rest than the Stars heading into Friday's game, but they've lost three straight in Dallas. Chicago fell 2-1 at the American Airlines Center in the season opener Oct. 7 but rebounded for a 5-2 home win the following night. Dallas had a 3-1 win at Chicago on Feb. 23 during its 11-game point streak and has won five of six in the series. Mike Ribeiro has led the way with seven points during those six games and Steve Ott has a team-best four goals. Ott also has a combined eight over his last 10 matchups, but he hasn't scored since last month's win in Chicago, a span of nine games. Ott will get his chance to try to end that drought against Crawford, who is 2-4-0 with a 3.03 goals-against average in six career starts against Dallas. Stars top goaltender Kari Lehtonen has won four straight over the Blackhawks but made his only start against them this season Oct. 7.

Blackhawks Renaissance: Trade Deadline Wakeup Call

The Blackhawks have played the last 11 games without their captain, Jonathan Toews. Seven of those have come since the NHL trade deadline, when the Hawks disappointed many fans by only making two moves (acquiring defenseman Johnny Oduya and moving “defenseman” John Scott). … Continue reading →

Crawford sharp in goal for Blackhawks

Dave Bolland and Patrick Sharp scored in the game's first two minutes, Corey Crawford made 21 saves, and the surging Chicago Blackhawks beat the Dallas Stars 4-1 on Friday night. Bolland's 18th goal of the season came 10 seconds in, and Sharp made it 2-0 at 1:42 with his 27th. Sharp and Marian Hossa added goals in the opening two minutes of the third period to put the game...

Chicago Blackhawks Rookies Making Huge Impact

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Blackhawks C Toews to miss 12th straight game

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews' possible return to the lineup has been stalled by his concussion. Toews appeared on the verge of rejoining the Blackhawks after skating for four straight days, but he has skated only once in the past four days. The 23-year-old center did not accompany the team for its road game against the Dallas Stars on Friday night. It will be...

Patrick Sharp, Corey Crawford Lead Blackhawks To Victory

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Chicago Blackhawks’ Playoff Success Relies On Defensive Consistency, Goaltending

Believe it or not the NHL season is almost over. The Chicago Blackhawks only have 11 more games, and despite not having their best player, Jonathan Toews, for the past 12 games, the ‘Hawks have managed to cling to the 6th seed in the Western Conference by winning the last five out of their last seven games. This isn’t a time to get too settled down, though. Only four points...

Stars' run rests on pads of goaltenders

It was almost a month ago when the season seemed dead and gone. I will be the first to admit that I did not think the Dallas Stars had much chance of reviving their 2011-12 and figuring out a way to challenge hard for the playoffs for the first time in four years. You'll have to forgive my pessimism, but at the time, two straight wins was a rarity and three straight? Nearly impossible...

Blackhawks Postseason Chase: Schedule In Focus

The win in Dallas on Friday night might not have officially clinched a playoff spot for the Blackhawks, but examining the NHL schedule in the coming couple weeks makes it clear that points will be at a premium in the … Continue reading →

Jersey Watch: Chicago Blackhawks St Pattys Day

St Patrick’s Day in Chicago is awesome. The city dyes the river green, people who have regular jobs throw partys that start at 8 am, and you drink like prohibition is coming back. March Madness will be also going on at the same time so that amplifies the fun level by about 10. At a Blackhawks game this week one fan took his love for St Patrick’s day a step further, he declared...

Stars Wet The Bed, Lose 4-1 To The Chicago Blackhawks

Final Dallas 1 - Chicago 4 10 seconds. That's all the Chicago Blackhawks needed to put Stars in a bind. 1 minute 42 seconds. That's all the Blackhawks needed to put the Stars away. A ridiculously quick start from Chicago in this game just killed Dallas and they could never recover from it. The Stars were playing tentative all night in what should have been one of the most...

Stars player tosses Jets player’s glove into stands, chaos ensues (video)

Late in third period of the Dallas Stars-Winnipeg Jets tilt on Wednesday night at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, mayhem reigned after Stars pest Adam Burish tossed a Jets player’s glove (believed to be Winnipeg forward Tanner Glass) into the stands. Things were getting a bit chippy late in the third, when, shortly after Dallas [...]

Eriksson scores 2 in Stars' loss to Jets

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) -- Andrew Ladd scored twice to help the Winnipeg Jets beat Dallas 5-2 Wednesday night, snapping the Stars' six-game winning streak. Nik Antropov, Evander Kane and Eric Fehr also scored for the Jets, who moved six points behind Washington for the eighth and last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Loui Eriksson had both goals for Dallas. The Stars...

John Jaeckel: Hawks-Stars Preview

Follow me @jaeckel Chicago Blackhawks @ Dallas Stars 7:30 Central American Airlines Center. Dallas CSN Chicago, Fox Sports Southwest WGN Radio PROJECTED LINEUPS Chicago Brunette-Kane-Hossa Sharp-Kruger-Stalberg Bickell-Bolland-Shaw Bollig-Mayers-Hayes Keith-Seabrook Oduya-Leddy O’Donnell-Olsen Crawford Dallas Ott-Benn-Morrow Eriksson...

Bill Meltzer: Stars Gameday: 3/14/12 @ Jets

PREVIEW 8:00 AM CDT Winners of six straight games and hoping to extend an 11-game point streak (10-0-1), the Pacific Division leading Dallas Stars (39-26-5) now skate into the teeth of the stretch drive as they head to Manitoba to take on the Winnipeg Jets (32-29-8). The game starts at 7:30 p.m. CDT and will be broadcast locally on Fox Sports Southwest. This is the lone meeting...
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