Blackhawks Snap Losing Streak with Shutout Win Over Stars

Entering Tuesday’s game, the Chicago Blackhawks were on a three-game losing skid, while the Dallas Stars were riding a seven-game winning streak. Dallas had also just defeated the Hawks in a shootout in the opening game of a critical home-and-home series Saturday night.

Fortunes would flip for both teams last night, as the Blackhawks earned 3 of 4 points against their divisional foe. The win allows the Hawks to remain within striking distance of Dallas, who currently occupies the second playoff seed in the Central Division. As of today, Chicago is seven points behind Dallas and just two points behind the second-wildcard San Jose Sharks.

Although Dallas had played the night before, both teams picked up right where they left off Saturday night — trading chances in a run-and-gun game with a palpable playoff atmosphere.

As has been the case all season, it would be Corey Crawford’s turn to provide a spectacular performance in net, following Robin Lehner’s stellar play last game. Crawford stopped all 32 shots against, earning his first shutout of the year and 26th of his career.

“[They’re] unbelievable,” Connor Murphy said regarding Crawford and Lehner. “Both are veterans and kind of the presence they have every day being there for us is fun. It’s great as a D-corp and goalies, you feel like we all mesh really well and it makes it a lot more fun just to play every night with each other.”

Brandon Saad would open the scoring midway through the first period. After Jonathan Toews had been kicked out of the faceoff circle, it was Saad himself who began and finished the play — winning the faceoff to Nylander, before redirecting Erik Gustafsson’s shot past Stars goalie Anton Khudobin.

After a scoreless second period, Patrick Kane would extend his current point streak to 13 games after cashing on a power-play goal midway through the third period to make it 2-0. Khudobin had just robbed Alex Debrincat but had over-slid on the play. Andrew Shaw would make up for an earlier penalty by chipping the rebound back to Debrincat, who spotted a wide-open Kane in the right faceoff circle.

Yet another Blackhawks defenseman would continue to contribute offensively, as Connor Murphy scored on Dallas’ empty net from below the Hawks’ own goal line. The goal marked the ninth by a Blackhawks defensemen within the last seven games.

Hawks forward Dylan Strome was a late-minute scratch before last night’s game, as he was placed in concussion protocol. In addition to Drake Caggiula, Strome was the second Blackhawk player placed in the concussion protocol this week. Matthew Highmore was called up from Rockford for the game, making his season debut and registering 8:10 in ice time.

With one divisional home-and-home series in the books, Chicago will immediately begin another against the Colorado Avalanche this Friday to close out November. Colorado is just three points ahead of the Blackhawks for the first wild card spot in the Western Conference.

“Two games against Dallas and [now] two games against Colorado — this is huge for us,” Brandon Saad said. “This gives us confidence going into [the Colorado series] — that we can play the right way.”

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