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Streaking 'Hawks return home to face Stars
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks return home the owners of a six- game winning streak, a run they'll try to extend on Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars.
The Blackhawks are set to play at the United Center for the first time since Nov. 17, having hit the road for their annual "Circus Trip." They dropped the first game of the swing in Colorado on Nov. 19, but then won out to post their longest winning streak of the season.
Chicago closed out its journey with a 5-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday. Patrick Kane, Andrew Shaw and Niklas Hjalmarsson all scored in the first period and Antti Raanta made 32 saves in his second career start.
"A great start. It could have been our best period to start a game all year," said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville. "We loved the energy. We loved the pace."
Kane and Marian Hossa both ended with a goal and an assist and Brandon Bollig also scored. Kane had a career-high, 12-game point streak snapped in Chicago's previous game, but has totaled nine goals and 19 points over his last 14 games.
Defenseman Duncan Keith, meanwhile, has an assist in seven consecutive games, with nine total in that span.
Corey Crawford is likely to get the start tonight for the 'Hawks and has already backstopped his club to a pair of victories over the Stars this season, both in Dallas.
Chicago has won six straight overall against Dallas, including a 2-1 victory on Friday in an 11-round shootout. The Blackhawks have won nine of their last 13 at home in this series as well.
Crawford is 7-4-0 with a 2.28 goals against average in his career versus the Stars.
Dallas has lost four of its past five games and was defeated in a shootout 3-2 by the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves but failed to stop either of the two shooters he faced in the tiebreaker.
Ryan Garbutt netted both Dallas goals, including one shorthanded. He has two goals and five points in his past three games and his eight shots on Sunday were the most by a Stars player in a game this season.
"Garbs (Garbutt) has played really well," praised Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff. "I think he had eight shots tonight, skated well and really he could have had four goals himself."
Dallas was without Tyler Seguin on Sunday due to concussion-like symptoms stemming from an injury suffered on Friday versus the 'Hawks. He leads the Stars with 12 goals this season and is second with 23 points.
Seguin was expected to make the trip to Chicago according to Ruff and was able to skate on Monday.
"He's feeling a lot better," Ruff told his team's website. "He came in (Monday) they went through the process. He was good enough to go out and skate, get his heart rate to a certain level and still felt pretty good. We're encouraged that this might may be only a couple days."
Still, Dallas placed defenseman Aaron Rome on injured reserve Monday and recalled center Travis Morin, who was leading the American Hockey League in scoring with 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) at the time of the move. He failed to log a point in three games earlier this season with the Stars.
Lehtonen has been in net for both setbacks to the Blackhawks this season and is 4-4-2 against them lifetime with a 2.49 GAA in 10 games.
12/03 10:55:58 ET
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