For a night, at least, the Dallas Stars looked like, well, the Dallas Stars.
Lindy Ruff's bunch had managed just six total goals in their previous five games before pouring six on Jake Allen and the St. Louis Blues Thursday night at the AAC- A tremendous way to kick off a brutal stretch of Central Division play which intensifies this evening when they kick off a home-and-home with the Chicago Blackhawks.
With so many bodies out for the Stars and the attack not as dynamic as Jim Nill had planned in the interim, Dallas got what they needed Thursday: A huge performance from their top line at home. Another chance to take advantage of last change comes tonight as they try to climb above .500.
"We played much more Stars Hockey than in Columbus, at a fast pace, everyone doing their jobs and trusting each other," Tyler Seguin offered after four assists on the night. "It was a team effort and it’s nice to get results.”
Stephen Johns was lavished with attention on social media with a strong outing- big hits and a goal, though saw a team-high 20 St. Louis even-strength shot attempts against to only eight for the Stars when he was on the ice. John Klingberg drove a team-high 18 even-strength attempts for Dallas.
The Blackhawks, so far, look like the Blackhawks. They've raced to a 7-3-1 record, including a four-game win streak heading into tonight and a six-game point streak (6-0-1).
They've not allowed a power play goal in their last three games, and have allowed only a single tally in that span, owing to Corey Crawford's early-season brilliance.
He's stopped 223 of 227 even-strength shots, and each of the 38 the Avalanche threw at him Thursday night in a 4-0 shutout.
The results are there for the Hawks right now, even if the underlying numbers don't always align. They've been particularly out-played in first periods this season, and have not cracked 30 shots in their last four wins, getting out-shot in each (38-21 by Colorado, 34-22 by Calgary, 32-29 by the Kings, and 32-29 by New Jersey).
This will be Chicago's second road game in the Central, and just their fourth overall after a home-heavy start. They dropped their first two in Nashville and Columbus, and needed overtime to defeat the Devils in Newark.
Their lineup or something like it will be this, with some young faces- And also, for some reason, Jordin Tootoo.
From Stars PR:
Over the weekend, the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks meet on back-to-back nights, with the first game at American Airlines Center on Saturday, Nov. 5 and the second game at United Center on Sunday, Nov. 6. The last home-and-home, back-to-back set came last season vs. the St. Louis Blues, on Dec. 26, 2015 at Scottrade Center (O, 3-2) and Dec. 27, 2015 at American Airlines Center (W, 3-0). The weekend games against the Blackhawks mark the first back-to-back of the season for the Stars and the first of three back-to-back situations in the month of November. Dallas has ten back-to-back games this season, with only three of the possible 20 games being played on home ice at American Airlines Center (Feb. 11 vs. Carolina and March 24 vs. San Jose).
The Stars went 4-1-0 against the Blackhawks last season, posting a 2-1-0 record in Dallas and a perfect 2-0-0 mark in the Windy City. Over five games against Chicago during the 2015-16 campaign, the Stars went 6-for-21 (28.6%) on the power play and killed off 16-of-17 (94.1%) of Chicago's opportunities on the man advantage. Dallas outscored Chicago by a 20-11 margin and recorded four-or-more goals in all but one of the five contests. In the most recent regular-season game against Chicago at American Airlines Center on March 11, 2016, the Stars defeated the Blackhawks, 5-2. Four Stars players recorded multi-point games, including captain Jamie Benn (1-1=2), forward Jason Spezza (1-1=2) and forward Tyler Seguin (1-1=2).
TYLER SEGUIN'S HOUSE OF PAYNE
Stars forward Tyler Seguin recorded four assists (0-4=4) against the Blues on Thursday night and tied his career-high for most assists in a single game (other: Oct. 18, 2014 vs. Philadelphia). His four assists in a game are the most assists by any NHL player this season and his four-point outing is tied for the second-highest point total in an NHL game this season (most: Brad Marchand, 5 points). The native of Brampton, Ont. shares seventh in the NHL with 12 points (5-7=12) and is tied for 12th in assists (7). Seguin has points in three-straight games against Chicago (2-3=5) and six of his last seven overall games (4-5=9) against them. He has a two-game point streak on home ice against the Blackhawks (2-1=3) and points in three of his last four contests (3-1=4) at American Airlines Center. The forward has a three-game point streak (1-4=5) at United Center against the Blackhawks and has points in five of six career regular-season games at Chicago (1-6=7). In 15 career games against the Blackhawks, he has posted 12 points (5-7=12).