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.