Gameday: Dallas Stars @ Chicago Blackhawks


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Dallas Stars (27-20-7)
@ Chicago Blackhawks (30-15-8)

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009, 7:30 PM CST
United Center
Television: FS-SW | Radio: WBAP
Opponent's blog: Second City Hockey


Complete Coverage >


The Dallas Stars are faced with a prime opportunity to pull even closer to Chicago and the fourth spot in the Western conference standings. With two games against the Blackhawks in the next week, the Stars must take advantage of the opportunity to seize the highest seed possible. Lose tonight, and that possibility becomes increasingly remote.

After stopping 32 of 33 shots is last night's win over Vancouver, Marty Turco will extend his franchise record and start in his 26th straight game for the Stars. 7-2-0 since the All Star break, Turco has a 1.55 goals-against average and has allowed just one goal in four of his last six starts.

The Chicago Blackhawks are coming off a disappointing 1-0 loss in St. Louis last night on the road. The Blackhawks are coming off an eight game road trip in which they were 5-3-0, including two losses in the final three games. It was a lackluster performance by the 'Hawks who squandered a nice performance by goalie Cristobal Huet.

"(Friday night), we didn't have enough players," coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was tough to watch. But we still had a chance to tie it at the end. We've got to be better than that in all areas."

Huet could get the start again tonight versus the Stars, or Quenneville could opt to have Antti Niemi make his NHL debut.

Key Injuries:

Dallas: RW Landon Wilson (ribs) is doubtful.

Chicago: G Nikolai Khabibulin (lower body) is questionable. D Brent Sopel (undisclosed) is out.

Stats comparison, via NHL.com:

2008-2009 Team Stats
61 Points: 68
27 Wins: 30
2 Shutouts: 3
20 Power Play Rank: 8
24 Penalty Kill Rank: 18
.875 Win % When Leading After 1: .727
.875 Win % When Leading After 2: .862
.346 Win % When Trailing After 1: .412
.056 Win % When Trailing After 2: .077

News and notes from around the web:

JJT calls out Brenden Morrow as Dallas' #1 sports leader, beating out Dirk Nowitski, Michael Young and Mike Modano.

Mark Stepneski has the recording of Joel Lundqvist's post-game interview last night on The Ticket.

Mike Heika has a good story up about Marty Turco and his streak of games.

Mike Modano is pushing himself to be ready for the 2010 Olympic Games.

 

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