Stars Vs. Blackhawks: Chicago Breaks Down In 3-1 Defeat At Home
The Chicago Blackhawks (33-21-7, 73 pts) will be without Jonathan Toews when they host the Dallas Stars (30-26-4, 64 pts) on Thursday night, but they will at least have D Niklas Hjalmarsson back on the ice after missing the last seven games.
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The Chicago Blackhawks needed to complete one period of quality defensive play to pull out a victory, but instead they let the wheels fall off in a 3-1 defeat against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. The Blackhawks led 1-0 after two periods, scoring the lone goal of the game's first 40 minutes, but the Stars broke things open in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Trailing 1-0 and struggling to muster shots against Chicago, Dallas looked like it would never get going until things blew up in the latter portion of the third period. The Stars' first goal, which tied the game at 1-1, was scored by Steve Ott nearly midway through the period. A bit over five minutes later, Michael Ryder scored his 24th goal of the season to give Dallas the lead.
Needing an insurance goal, the Stars quickly got it just minutes after taking the lead itself. Now roughly 16 minutes into the period, the Stars' Loui Eriksson scored his 19th goal of the season to push the lead to 3-1 and essentially put away the game.
It's a brutal loss for Chicago, which was looking for a fifth consecutive victory. Playing at home makes the loss particularly frustrating, too, given that the Blackhawks have typically thrived in the United Center. The win is big one for Dallas as it battles for a playoff spot, though.
After failing to score for the entire first period and roughly half of the second period, the Chicago Blackhawks finally came through with a goal to take a 1-0 lead over the Dallas Stars going into the third period. After struggling to get much going early, Chicago finally found some room to work offensively in the second period.
In the first period, the Blackhawks could muster just six shots on Stars goaltender Richard Bachman, failing to really put much pressure on him. But in the second period, Chicago slapped 16 shots his way, with the Blackhawks' Marian Hossa finally getting one past him roughly midway through the period.
Now, Chicago just needs to hold on and get a strong third period from goalie Corey Crawford. He's a perfect 10-of-10 on save opportunities tonight, but you can tell from the sheer number of shots that Dallas hasn't exactly attacked the goal with aggression.
The Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars are knotted up in a scoreless tie after one period at the United Center on Thursday night. Neither team was able to get the puck into the net in a relatively defensively-minded period that didn't see a great deal of shooting.
Neither goaltender was especially challenged in the first period on Thursday, as the two teams mustered a combined 11 shots on goal. Dallas goalie Richard Bachman saved all six shots that came his way, while Chicago goalie Corey Crawford did the same on the five shots that he saw.
Another win tonight would be big for the Blackhawks as they try to climb up the Western Conference standings without captain Jonathan Toews, who's dealing with an upper body injury. Chicago has won four straight games.
The Chicago Blackhawks star center, Jonathan Toews, was reportedly in a car accident in downtown Chicago Thursday afternoon. Images of the wrecked Mercedes Benz first began appearing on the blog Selfish Indulgence, showing Toews' car smashed against an L support beam.
Eyewitnesses to the crash confirmed that it was indeed Toews, according to CBS Chicago:
"I saw his car in the pole," Theron Banks, an employee at Steak Express said. "I came out. People were everywhere. Toews was in the ambulance. People were videotaping and taking pictures and trying to get autographs, but police said they couldn’t get autographs."
Toews was already scheduled to miss Thursday night's game with a concussion, but this latest event may lengthen his stay off the ice if he receives any lingering injuries.
The Chicago Blackhawks will get back on of the top defenseman on Thursday night. According to Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago, D Niklas Hjalmarsson will hit the ice for the first time since February 7, hoping to help the Blackhawks to a win over the Dallas Stars.
Hjalmarsson, who left the team in the middle of their eventual 9-game losing streak, returns to a Blackhawks team now surging on a 4-game winning streak in which they have outscored their opponents 15-5. The team will be without their star C Jonathan Toews, however, as he is struggling with a possible concussion.
The 24-year-old Hjalmarsson was averaging 20:32 on the ice per game before his injury, and had racked up 12 points and 2.2 point shares before his injury.