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Gameday preview: Chicago Blackhawks @ Dallas Stars

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Chicago Blackhawks (33-15-8)
@ Dallas Stars (29-21-7)

Saturday, Feb 21, 2009, 1:00 PM CST
American Airlines Center
Television: FS-SW | Radio: WBAP
Opposition blog: Second City Hockey

Complete Coverage >

Marty Turco is scheduled to make his 29th consecutive start today for the Dallas Stars who look to win against the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time this season. So far the Stars are 0-3 against Chicago and have been outscored 17-7 in the three games. The Stars will look to continue their strong play at home as they kick off a six game homestand. Dallas is 13-2-1 in thier last 16 games at American Airlines Center.

Since allowing four goals in an overtime loss to Buffalo on January 15th, Marty Turco has been on a remarkable run. He has yet to allow more than three goals in a game. Since that game the Stars are 11-4-0, and in those 15 games Turco has a 1.80 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. After starting the season 12-12-5 with a 3.33 GAA its incredible how he has been able to turn things around.

The Chicago Blackhawks come into Dallas as one of the NHL's hottest teams. 7-2-0 over their last nine, the Blackhawks had an impressive 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. Chicago boasts the league's third-best scoring average and with Cristobal Huet in net the 'Hawks are able to open their offensive game up even more, which could prove dangerous to the Stars just like it has in the past.

With the important win Thursday over Edmonton the Stars built a mini-buffer for themselves in the playoff race. Now three points ahead of the Oilers and four over Anaheim the Stars are unable to drop any lower than seventh spot with a loss. However, with a win the Stars can once again leapfrog Columbus and Vancouver and put more pressure on those in front of them whom the Stars have several games in hand.

Key Injuries:

Dallas: RW Landon Wilson (ribs) is doubtful. C Brad Richards (wrist), LW Brenden Morrow (knee) and D Sergei Zubov (hip) are out.

Chicago: RW Patrick Sharp (knee), G Nikolai Khabibulin (lower body) and D Brent Sopel (undisclosed) are out.

Stats comparison, via

2008-2009 Team Stats
74 Points: 65
33 Wins: 29
4 Shutouts: 2
7 Power Play Rank: 21
17 Penalty Kill Rank: 22
.750 Win % When Leading After 1: .889
.871 Win % When Leading After 2: .880
.412 Win % When Trailing After 1: .333
.143 Win % When Trailing After 2: .053

News & notes on the Stars:

Ray Sawada is still smiling while enjoying his firs few days in the NHL.

The Dallas Stars are enjoying the great play of some younger players.

Around the West:

Colorado tops the exciting Washington Capitols with a strong third period, 4-1

Detroit helps out Dallas with a win over the struggling Anaheim Ducks, 5-2