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Stars Tangle with Blackhawks Once Again

For one of the first times all season, I feel like the Dallas Stars have put together a good stretch and are playing some good hockey. Dallas won two in a row before Sunday’s 1-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. And at 1-0, it could have just as easily gone to the Stars instead of Carolina.

Tonight the Stars start a crucial two-game series with the Chicago Blackhawks. Both teams are currently on the outside of the playoff race. Dallas sits in sixth place with Chicago at fifth. The Blackhawks are three points ahead of Dallas but the Stars have three games in hand over Chicago.

This is where the Stars need to keep the momentum rolling. Defensively we’re starting to see semblances of the team that played in the bubble last year.

Potential Line Combinations for Dallas

Jason Robertson (21) – Roope Hintz (24) – Joe Pavelski (16)
Jamie Benn (14) – Justin Dowling (37) – Denis Gurianov (34)
Andrew Cogliano (11) – Rhett Gardner (49) – Blake Comeau (15)
Nicholas Caamano (17) – Tanner Kero (64) – Joel L’Esperance (38)

Esa Lindell (23) – John Klingberg (3)
Jamie Oleksiak (2) – Miro Heiskanen (4)
Andrej Sekera (5) – Mark Psysk (13)

Jake Oettinger (29)
Anton Khudobin (35)

John Stevens wouldn’t divulge the starting goaltender, but there’s a good chance it’ll be Khudobin now that he’s back after a false positive put him into COVID-19 protocols and missing a scheduled start.

The Chicago Blackhawks

With a 17-17-5 record, the Blackhawks and Dallas are both sitting at .500 in the wins and losses. Difference is the games in hand and the fact that Dallas has twice as many losses past 60 minutes of regulation. Chicago has been struggling lately, though. The Blackhawks are 3-7 in their last 10 games, averaging only two goals per game.

Of course Dallas still has to contend with Patrick Kane. Kane currently ranks third in the NHL with 49 points; scoring 13 goals and 36 assists. Him being paired on the top line with Alex DeBrincat cause a lot of problems for teams as they have 85 points between the two of them.

Potential lines for Chicago

Alex DeBrincat (12) – Kirby Dach (77) – Patrick Kane (88)
Mattias Janmark (13) – Pius Suter (24) – Dylan Strome (17)
Dominik Kubalik (8) – Philipp Kurashev (23) – Vinne Hinostroza (28)
Brandon Hagel (38) – David Kampf (64) – Ryan Carpenter (22)

Duncan Keith (2) – Adam Boqvist (27)
Nikita Zadorov (16) – Connor Murphy (5)
Calvin De Haan (44) – Wyatt Kalynuk (48)

Kevin Lankinen (32)  
Malcolm Subban (30)

Talking Points