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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 29th (All times Eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (18-4-4) at Dallas Stars (12-9-2), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Looking to build momentum after snapping a four-game winless stretch at home, the Dallas Stars could be without one of their top scorers on Friday night as they take on the mighty Chicago Blackhawks.
The Stars put to rest an 0-2-2 stretch at home with Tuesday's 6-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks, their first triumph in Dallas since Oct. 24.
However, center Tyler Seguin has not practiced the past two games due to what head coach Lindy Ruff called a muscle issue. While there is still a good chance the 21-year-old plays tonight, it is not guaranteed.
"We just decided to give him another day. He's not quite where we need him," Ruff told Dallas' official website. "He should be OK for (Friday), but not definitely."
The Stars could certainly use Seguin against the Blackhawks, who lead the NHL with 40 points. The former second overall pick tops the Stars with 12 goals and is second on the club with 23 points.
Seguin did not have a point in Tuesday's win over the Ducks, but got plenty of support from the rest of the offense. That includes a three-goal barrage in less than a minute of action during a five-goal third period.
Cody Eakin started the 53-second burst with a goal and Stephane Robidas followed 25 seconds later. Ryan Garbutt capped the binge 28 seconds later to put the Stars ahead 4-2.
"Honestly I think we just started getting some bounces going hard to the net," Garbutt said of the team's turnaround. "It's nice to get some chances go in like that."
Antoine Roussel added his second goal of the contest and Alex Chiasson also tallied in the final stanza, backing a 28-save effort from Dan Ellis as the Stars snapped a two-game slide with their seventh victory in the past 10 games.
Kari Lehtonen had started 14 straight games before giving way to Ellis on Tuesday. He is likely to return to action tonight and is 4-4-1 with a 2.69 goals against average in his career versus the Blackhawks.
He fell to .500 against them with a 5-2 home loss to Chicago on Nov. 9. Lehtonen gave up four goals on 30 shots faced, while Eakin and Seguin scored for the Stars.
Marian Hossa scored twice in the win for the Blackhawks, while Patrick Sharp had four assists. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane added a goal and an assist each and Corey Crawford posted 31 saves.
The win was the Blackhawks' fifth in a row over the Stars and ninth in the previous 14 meetings. They have also won four straight and seven of 11 in Dallas.
Chicago has picked up four straight wins after beginning a seven-game road trip with a loss in Colorado. The Blackhawks wrap the swing on Saturday versus Phoenix and are coming off Wednesday's 3-2 triumph over the Calgary Flames.
Kane scored twice in the third period, starting a rally from two goals down with 9:22 to play when his severe-angle shot hit off the stick of Calgary's Kris Russell and in.
After Sharp scored less than a minute later to tie the game, Kane put home the winner with 18 seconds to go as he found the puck following Niklas Hjalmarsson's deflected shot and fired a backhander for his 15th goal of the season.
"Obviously we got a break on the goal and we seemed to be energized by it. We caught a big break in the third there and had an opportunity," said Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville.
Kane's heroics gave Antti Raanta a victory in his first career NHL start. He ended with 20 saves, while Kane pushed his point streak to 12 straight games, posting eight goals and nine assists on the run.
Defenseman Duncan Keith had an assist for a fifth straight game, with six helpers over that time.
After getting a rest on Wednesday, Crawford should start tonight and is 6-4-0 with a 2.43 GAA in 11 career games versus the Stars, all but one of those starts.
11/29 10:52:30 ET