NHL Game Summary - Dallas at Chicago
(Tuesday, February 9th)
Final Score: Chicago 4, Dallas 3 (SO)
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Kris Versteeg scored the only goal in the shootout to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 win over the Dallas Stars at United Center.
Patrick Kane scored twice for the Blackhawks, who have won two straight on the heels of a three-game skid. Troy Brouwer also scored in the victory. Chicago, which holds a substantial lead atop the Central Division, will face Atlanta and Columbus in its final two games before the Olympic break.
Antti Niemi made 24 saves in the win.
Mike Riberio, James Neal and Loui Eriksson scored for the up-and-down Stars, who have alternated wins and losses over their last six games. Marty Turco allowed three goals on 40 shots for Dallas.
There were no goals scored throughout the first four shootout rounds. In the fifth round, Neal hit the left post before Versteeg won it with a low wrister that beat Turco through the pads as the home team celebrated on the ice.
"You have to wonder where his stick is going to be. He's the best goaltender in the league with it," Versteeg said. "Anytime he's coming out of the shoe, you know he's going to poke-check or maybe even stack the pads. You don't really know what he's going to do at times because he'll throw you for a curve ball. It was just play to my strength."
The Stars opened the scoring with a power-play goal 8:27 into the first period. Skating 5-on-4, the Dallas forwards fought for control of the puck in the right corner and eventually, Neal emerged with it inside the lower right circle and passed across the low slot for a quick one-timer redirection tally by Ribeiro from near the left post.
At the 13:54 mark, the hosts knotted the contest on the first of Kane's two first-period goals. The young sniper skated down the left-wing side and released a wrist shot from inside the lower portion of the circle that beat Turco between the pads.
Neal's 24th goal of the campaign, a rebound from in close at 18:03, gave Dallas a 2-1 lead.
Chicago, though, tied it 2-2 with 29 seconds to play in the opening stanza. Kane gained control behind the net along the rear boards, skated out to the area along the goal line to the right of Turco and somehow found the back of the net from a sharp angle below the circle.
At 6:13 of the third period, the Blackhawks gained a 3-2 lead on what may have been a set play. Marian Hossa carried the puck into the zone and, from the left slot, fired a shot toward the net that was wide left. Hossa appeared to possibly do it on purpose, but either way, the puck caromed off the rear boards and directly onto the stick of Brouwer, who lit the lamp with a one- timer from the right circle.
The Stars tied it with 3:50 to go in regulation on Eriksson's 23rd goal. He slipped behind the Chicago defense and was all alone in the low slot for a successful one-timer after a pass from the left side by Brad Richards.
"It was exciting, but we're not disappointed with getting a point, but we sure would have liked to get two," Stars head coach Marc Crawford said.
The Stars were 1-for-5 on the power play, while Chicago was scoreless on its three chances with the extra skater...Richards finished with two assists and has 48 helpers on the season...Dallas will be on the road for its final two games before the February break -- the Stars will face the Flames in Calgary and the Coyotes on Saturday.
02/10 00:20:57 ET