NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, November 20th (All times eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (8-4-5) at Dallas Stars (6-8-3), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Though their six-game road trip got off to a good start, the Chicago Blackhawks face a stiffer challenge tonight, as they try to record a rare road win against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.
The Blackhawks have lost 10 of their last 11 on the road versus the Stars and have been outscored 31-18 over the last six meetings (5-1-0) in Dallas.
Though Chicago has won five of the last eight overall against Dallas, including a 5-2 home win back on October 31, the Stars have earned a point in 17 of the past 21 meetings, going 15-3-1 with a tie in that span.
That means the Blackhawks have their work cut out for them, as they continue their lengthy road trip tonight due to the circus being in the Windy City. Chicago began the trek on Tuesday with a 3-2 shootout win in Phoenix, getting extra-session goals from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp. Netminder Nikolai Khabibulin, meanwhile, stopped both skaters he faced in the shootout.
Sharp scored his team-leading 10th goal in regulation for Chicago, while rookie Kris Versteeg helped his club halt a three-game losing streak by also lighting the lamp. He is second among freshman skaters in scoring with 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists) and has four goals and four helpers over his last seven games.
Khabibulin stopped 36-of-38 shots for the win, which improved Chicago to 2-3-1 on the road this season.
Cristobal Huet is likely to start tonight if Chicago keeps its goaltending rotation in effect. However, he is only 0-1-0 with two ties and a 1.54 goals against average in three games against the Stars, while Khabibulin is 14-14-1 with a pair of ties and a 2.77 GAA. He halted 21-of-23 shots faced in the win on Halloween night.
For the Stars, they return home after a 3-2 win in Phoenix on Saturday, and should debut defenseman Darryl Sydor tonight. Sydor was acquired from Pittsburgh on Sunday for fellow blueliner Philippe Boucher after notching a goal and an assist in eight games with Pittsburgh.
Sydor shouldn't need much time to get used to Dallas, as it is his third stint with the club. The 36-year-old returns to the Stars after spending 1995-2003 and 2006-07 with them, winning a Stanley Cup championship in 1999.
Dallas hopes he can help a defense that has allowed 61 goals this year, one of the highest totals in the NHL.
That wasn't the case versus the Coyotes, as Marty Turco made 25 saves in the win. Loui Eriksson scored two goals and Mike Ribeiro collected three assists.
Mark Parrish found the back of the net for Dallas, which snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the second time in its last seven games (2-4-1).
Turco, meanwhile, did not start versus Chicago in late October but is 14-2-0 with a tie and 1.78 GAA against the club lifetime.
The Stars are 2-2-2 at home this year and host Anaheim on Saturday.
11/20 10:39:28 ET