|CHI||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|DAL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
The Dallas Stars solved their defensive woes to climb into the Western Conference playoff race, but they haven't figured out how to stop the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Stars look to avoid a season sweep to Chicago for the first time in franchise history Saturday at American Airlines Center.
Dallas (29-21-7) has yielded 25 goals in winning 10 of its last 13 but suffered a 6-2 defeat Feb. 14 in Chicago, allowing the Blackhawks (33-15-8) to jump ahead 5-0.
In three losses this season to Chicago, Dallas has been outscored 17-7, and is on the verge of losing every game to the Blackhawks for the first time in 41 seasons. The Stars have finished winless three times in a season against Chicago but managed at least one tie in 1968-69, 1977-78 and 1995-96.
Since he was pulled from the Feb. 14 loss, Marty Turco has allowed four goals in consecutive victories. After starting the season 12-12-5 with a 3.33 goals-against average, Turco is 16-7-2 with a 2.18 GAA and has started a franchise-record 28 straight games.
He is 14-4-0 with one tie and a 2.04 GAA in 21 career appearances against Chicago.
The Stars didn't let the absence of one of their top scorers affect them in a 4-2 victory Thursday night over visiting Edmonton. In the first game without Brad Richards, Dallas scored four goals for the first time in five games, using the final two to break a 2-all tie.
Richards, the team's second-leading scorer with 48 points, is expected to miss eight weeks with a fractured right wrist.
"Everyone knows that we have big names out of the lineup, big pieces of the puzzle," said center Mike Ribeiro, who has a team-leading 52 points. "To lose Brad is big, but hopefully it will keep us together and keep us pushing forward."
Loui Eriksson, who has scored a team-best 27 times, has two goals and four assists during a four-game point streak.
While looking for the season sweep of Dallas, the Blackhawks are also trying to finish their three-game road trip undefeated and earn a fourth consecutive win.
Cristobal Huet continued to shine in place of an injured Nikolai Khabibulin on Thursday night at Florida, stopping 31 shots in a 4-0 victory for his third shutout of the season.
With Khabibulin in Chicago nursing a groin injury, Huet is expected to make a fifth straight start. He is 7-3-0 with a 1.75 GAA in his last 11 road starts.
"It's nice to have a little bit of a roll," Huet said. "I've got no complaints. It's nice to get some games under your belt and build on what you did last game."
Jonathan Toews, who has a team-leading 21 goals, has scored in three straight games and has four goals and seven points during his streak. Martin Havlat has five points in the last three games.
Since going 0-3-1 against the Stars in 2005-06, the Blackhawks lead the series 7-4-0 and have won two of the past three in Dallas.
|Feb 21 '09||CHI 3 at DAL 1||P. Kane|
|Feb 14 '09||DAL 2 at CHI 6||M. Havlat|
|Nov 20 '08||CHI 6 at DAL 3||K. Versteeg|
|Oct 31 '08||DAL 2 at CHI 5||B. Sopel|