Dallas
Stars
36-35-11
Chicago
Blackhawks
46-24-12

18 SOG
36 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
DAL
CHI
game preview

Stars-Blackhawks Preview

Saturday, 02.14.2009 / 6:30 PM

Associated Press

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Stars-Blackhawks Preview
Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Though the Chicago Blackhawks have lost three straight home games, it's been so long since they last played at the United Center that those defeats probably aren't too fresh in their memory.

In their first home contest in over three weeks, the Blackhawks look to end that skid Saturday night against the resurgent Dallas Stars.

This will be Chicago's first home game since a 2-0 loss to St. Louis on Jan. 21. The Blackhawks (30-15-8) completed their season-high eight-game road trip - the second longest in team history - Friday with a 1-0 loss to the Blues.

Losses in two of the final three games left Chicago with a 5-3 record on the trip. The Blackhawks wasted a strong 22-save performance from Cristobal Huet on Friday, getting shut out after scoring 23 goals in the previous seven games.

"(Friday night), we didn't have enough players," coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was tough to watch. But we still had a chance to tie it at the end. We've got to be better than that in all areas."

Even with losses in their last three home games, the Blackhawks are 14-4-5 at the United Center, where they have surrendered a league-low 50 goals. That mark includes a loss to Detroit at Wrigley Field in the Winter Classic on New Year's Day.

Chicago, which hopes to avoid its first four-game home slide since March 7-16, has won six of the last nine meetings with Dallas (27-20-7), including four of five at home.

After defeating the Stars 5-2 at home on Oct. 31, the Blackhawks used a three-goal third period to win 6-3 in Dallas on Nov. 20 in the latest meeting.

But the Stars enter this game riding an 8-2-0 surge that has moved them into a fifth-place tie with Anaheim in the tightly packed Western Conference. They've collected at least a point in 12 of their last 15 overall, taking two in Friday night's 2-1 win over visiting Vancouver.

"Of course you're looking at the standings," forward Loui Eriksson, who had a goal and an assist, told the Stars' official Web site. "It's a tight group there fighting for the playoffs, and (Friday night) was a huge two points."

On Friday, Marty Turco made 32 saves in his club-record 25th consecutive start. He boasts a 1.51 goals-against average in the Stars' last 10 games after struggling to a 3.13 GAA in 41 prior to this stretch.

"The fundamentals of my game weren't where they needed to be early, and that is certainly something I have worked on a lot the last couple months," he said.

If Turco gets the start Saturday, he'll be looking to improve his career numbers versus the Blackhawks. He is 14-3-0 with a tie and a 1.95 GAA in 20 matchups, but allowed five goals on 29 shots in the November loss.

Huet is 0-1-0 with two ties and a 1.54 GAA versus the Stars, but hasn't faced them since Feb. 25, 2004, with Los Angeles.

Huet and Nikolai Khabibulin - day-to-day with a lower-body injury - have rotated starts in Chicago's last 24 games. It's unclear if Quenneville will start Huet or have 25-year-old Antti Niemi make his NHL debut.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 21 '09CHI 3 at DAL 1P. Kane
Feb 14 '09DAL 2 at CHI 6M. Havlat
Nov 20 '08CHI 6 at DAL 3K. Versteeg
Oct 31 '08DAL 2 at CHI 5B. Sopel
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Ribeiro55133649-72251
B. Richards54153247-3652
L. Eriksson55261541+10643
M. Modano55142337+23233
J. Neal50181129-53372
M. Niskanen5342125-73620
S. Ott39111324+08140
T. Daley5561420+54001
J. Lehtinen2761420+4621
S. Robidas5221820+125810
F. Brunnstrom3512618-9224
B. Morrow1851015-44920
M. Parrish327411-1843
T. Petersen534711+21400
D. Sydor462911+31200
B. Sutherby407310+44700
S. Avery233710+27700
K. Barch55358-29101
L. Wilson19268+61900
N. Grossmann54167-43500
C. Conner19167+2801
J. Lundqvist26145-21401
B. Crombeen15145-12600
A. Hutchinson32134-5800
S. Zubov10044-4000
P. Boucher16033-41500
T. Wandell4101+1000
D. Janik13011-2200
M. Fistric12011-2400
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Turco5226-19-714413772.83.895
T. Stephan71-2-0151333.35.887
B. Krahn10-0-0399.00.667
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
P. Kane52173148+03692
M. Havlat54192645+131853
J. Toews54182543+103356
K. Versteeg51162642+174742
P. Sharp54231538+23984
B. Campbell5473138+91241
D. Bolland54122234+172003
A. Ladd5492433+211800
D. Keith5062329+273621
C. Barker4142125-44141
D. Byfuglien4991120+15932
T. Brouwer4581119+123630
B. Seabrook5451015+144720
C. Fraser545914+64600
B. Eager508412+611000
J. Wisniewski23189+61000
A. Johnson28358+182401
M. Walker42088+155800
A. Burish38527+66402
C. Adams31246-11810
B. Sopel23112-4801
J. Skille6101-2500
J. Hendry8000-1400
N. Hjalmarsson2000+0000
P. Pelletier1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Khabibulin2917-5-5668702.37.924
C. Huet2814-10-3627252.34.914