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Blackhawks vs. Stars game preview 2016: Chicago faces Dallas in Central Division showdown

Chicago goes for its second win in five days against Dallas.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Artemi Panarin will miss his second straight game with an illness, and Corey Crawford will get the start in net when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars on Thursday at United Center.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters Panarin's illness is, "hopefully not long term." He added that it's comparable to what Jonathan Toews had prior to the All-Star break.

Richard Panik will skate in Panarin's left-wing spot on the second line, while Jiri Sekac draws in at right wing on the fourth line. Panik has three goals and an assist in 12 games this season. Sekac has not recorded a point in three games since Chicago (36-17-4) acquired him from Anaheim on Jan. 21.

Chicago returned to Dallas on Saturday and won 5-1 behind a goal and three assists from Artem Anisimov. Patrick Kane scored his NHL-leading 32nd goal and Panarin had two assists.

Crawford made 36 saves against the Stars and 25 Tuesday against San Jose. The Hawks hold a three-point lead on Dallas.

Projected lines:



Opponent Breakdown

Stars | Record: 34-15-5 | 73 points | 2nd in Central Division

The Stars rebounded with a 4-3 overtime win Tuesday in Minnesota. John Klingberg scored the game-winner for Dallas, who have won four of out their last five. Klingberg now shares second in the league with three overtime winners this season in the three-on-three format.

Dallas is led by the dynamic duo of captain Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Benn is the reigning Art Ross Trophy winner and his team-high 61 points are only second behind Kane. Seguin's 23 even-strength goals lead the league.

Patrick Sharp got off to a fast start with his new team, but hasn't scored since Jan. 3. He tallied a goal and an assist in the previous meeting against Chicago. He has 16 goals this season.

Former Hawk Antti Niemi gave up three goals on eight shots in Saturday's first period. He has 4.02 goals-against average in seven straight starts since leaving Chicago.

Projected lines:

Ja. Benn-Seguin-Eaves

Nemeth-Jo. Benn


Blackhawks: Marcus Kruger, Panarin (illness)

Stars: Spezza

How to watch

When: 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: United Center, Chicago

TV: CSN Chicago