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Stars Have Chance To Keep Pace In Top of Central With Blackhawks In Town

Less than 48 hours after getting stomped by the Blues, Dallas has a chance to keep up with the two teams in front of them as the race for first in the division heats up.

NHL: NOV 26 Stars at Blackhawks Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When the St. Louis Blues came to town on Friday night with first place in the Central Division on the line, the Dallas Stars took a five-knuckle meet sandwich to the collective face. It was an embodiment of the mantra interim head coach had heading into the matchup: “We haven’t done anything yet.”

The game showed that the Stars still have strides to make if they want to win the division. In some ways, the Blues feel like the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Washington Capitals. After years of getting bounced by the Penguins in the playoffs, the Capitals finally beat them in a series — and then figured out how to win the Stanley Cup. The Blues are getting a little rent-free space in the collective Stars psyche, and that’ll need to be exorcised.

But before they can do that, they’ll need to take on a desperate Chicago Blackhawks squad. As of this morning, they find themselves seven points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the last Wild Card spot in the West. With two games in hand as well, that gap isn’t outside the realm of possibility to make up. However, they will have to contend with the other three teams between them and the Jets, so every point is at a premium for the Blackhawks.

However, it looks as though Chicago is listening on some of their assets to get some pieces to build on for the future. Erik Gustafsson is reportedly not traveling with the team before the trade deadline tomorrow at 2 PM CDT. They’ve also been listening for offers on Robin Lehner, who has posted a very good season even with how the team has been in front of him.

It’s possible that Lehner gets traded to the Blackhawks from the Carolina Hurricanes before you wake up and read this in the morning, given that they lost both their goalies last night to injury. The Hurricanes then rallied around an emergency backup goaltender that was the zamboni driver of the Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs....who were playing on the other side of the ice.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

Dominik Kubalik - Jonathan Toews - Drake Caggiula
Brandon Saad - Ryan Carpenter - Patrick Kane
Alex DeBrincat - Kirby Dach - Dylan Strome
Matthew Highmore - David Kampf - Alex Nylander

Duncan Keith - Slater Koekkoek
Nick Seeler - Connor Murphy
Olli Maatta - Adam Boqvist

Corey Crawford

DALLAS STARS

With no morning skate due to the early puck drop, the Stars anticipated lineup is likely something like what they ran at practice yesterday in Euless:

Roope HintzTyler SeguinCorey Perry
Jamie BennJason DickinsonDenis Gurianov
Andrew CoglianoRadek FaksaBlake Comeau
Mattias JanmarkJoe PavelskiAlexander Radulov

Esa LindellJohn Klingberg
Miro HeiskanenStephen Johns
Jamie OleksiakAndrej Sekera

Ben Bishop is the presumed starter, given his outing on Saturday. Gives him the chance to shake that sub-par performance before the team hits the road this week.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Puck Drop: 2 PM CST
Location: American Airlines Center (Dallas, TX)
TV: FSSW
Radio: 1310 AM / 96.7 FM The Ticket
Online: theticket.com / Fox Sports Go app