NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 5th (All times eastern)
Dallas Stars (23-13-4) at Chicago Blackhawks (21-17-3), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Marty Turco may get the chance to face his former team for the first time tonight, when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars at the United Center.
Turco left Dallas as the franchise's all-time leader in wins and shutouts this summer, signing a one-year deal with Chicago in the offseason and ending nearly a decade-long tenure with the Stars.
The 35-year-old netminder was drafted by Dallas in the fifth round of the 1994 draft, and he went 262-154-37 with 26 ties, 40 shutouts and a 2.31 goals- against average over nine seasons and 509 games with the Stars.
Turco was denied a chance to face the Stars when the Blackhawks hosted Dallas on Dec. 8. Corey Crawford recorded the win for Chicago that night with 28 saves.
It is possible that Crawford could get the start in net tonight, as Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville has not yet revealed his starting goaltender for the game. Turco's last start was on Dec. 30 against San Jose and he surrendered four goals on 24 shots in Chicago's 5-3 loss.
The Blackhawks have won three straight and seven of the last nine overall matchups against the Stars and Dallas has lost four of five and seven of its last nine in the Windy City.
Chicago, which is currently tied with St. Louis and Los Angeles for the final playoff berths in the West, snapped a three-game losing streak with a road win over the Kings on Monday. Jonathan Toews received credit for the game-winner with 5:27 to play as the Blackhawks took a 4-3 win in LA.
Patrick Sharp had two goals and an assist and Marian Hossa also scored for the Blackhawks, while Crawford stopped 26 shots in the win.
The game also marked Toews' return to the lineup after Chicago's captain missed the previous two tests with a shoulder injury.
"We did some good things out there but again we had a slow start," said Toews. "But the power play kept us in the game and Corey was solid. We'll take the two points considering we didn't play so well. But we still have to look at the mistakes we made."
Tonight's game marks the start of a four-game homestand for the Blackhawks, who have a 12-10-0 mark at the United Center this season. The defending Stanley Cup champions will also welcome Ottawa, the New York Islanders and Colorado during this residency.
The Stars are wrapping up a two-game road trip tonight after ending a two-game slide with Sunday's victory in St. Louis.
The 4-2 win over the Blues marked the fifth straight road win for Dallas, which is 11-7-1 away from Texas this season. Dallas hasn't posted six straight wins away from home since a seven-game road winning streak from Nov. 15-Dec. 15, 2001.
Brenden Morrow tallied a pair of goals to back a 28-save performance from Kari Lehtonen in Sunday's victory over the Blues. Brad Richards added a goal and two assists for the Stars.
"Every game is critical right now and you want to make sure when you have the opportunity to get two points you take advantage of it," said Morrow.
Lehtonen has played just one game in his career against Chicago and it came while he was with Atlanta on Feb. 11, 2009. He was dealt the loss in that contest despite allowing just two goals on 27 shots. The Finnish veteran is expected to get the start tonight over Andrew Raycroft, who surrendered four goals in the loss earlier this year against the Blackhawks.
01/05 11:02:12 ET