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Patrick Sharp to play 1st game against Stars since rejoining Blackhawks

It’s the first game in the four-game season series between the two Central Division teams.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Patrick Sharp will play his first regular-season game against his former team when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars for the first game of a home-and-home set Thursday at United Center.

Sharp opted to sign with Chicago in free agency in July after two seasons with the Stars. He was traded to Dallas after the 2014-15 Stanley Cup run in a deal that netted Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt, neither of whom lasted a full season in Chicago. After scoring 20 goals in his first season with Dallas, Sharp tallied only eight goals in 48 games last season, as a concussion sidelined him for a pair of four-week stints, and hip surgery ended his season in March.

It’s the first meeting between the two teams this season, and first of three before Christmas break. The Central Division foes will also play Saturday and Thursday, Dec. 21 in Dallas.

Chicago is coming off a 3-2 road loss to Nashville on Tuesday when they played the second night of a back-to-back set. Before Tuesday’s loss, Chicago was 5-1-1 in its past seven games. It was the first of two back-to-backs Chicago will play this week. The Hawks also play Saturday in Dallas before hosting Los Angeles on Sunday.

Corey Crawford will start in net for Chicago. Crawford has a 15-10-0 career record against Dallas. The Blackhawks swept the five-game season series last season with Artem Anisimov, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each recording a team-high six points in the series.

The Stars haven’t found much success on the road this season. Dallas snapped a four-game road losing streak Tuesday with a 3-0 victory in Las Vegas fueled by Ben Bishop’s 34-save shutout and Radek Faksa’s first NHL career hat trick. The Stars are only the second road team to win at T-Mobile Arena. Dallas hasn’t won consecutive road games since Oct. 27 at Calgary and Oct. 30 at Vancouver.

Tyler Seguin is the main cog for Dallas’ offense. In two of the last four seasons, Seguin has led the Stars in points and he’s back on top this season with 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists). He has six points (four goals, two assists) in his last five games.

Bishop is 3-6-0 with a 3.62 goals-against average and an .887 save percentage on the road this season. However, Bishop is 4-1-1 with a .924 save percentage and one shutout in the regular season against Chicago.

Blackhawks

Position Players
Position Players
F1 Brandan Saad - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik
F2 Nick Schmaltz - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane
F3 Patrick Sharp - Ryan Hartman - Alex DeBrincat
F4 Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - John Hayden
D1 Duncan Keith - Cody Franson
D2 Connor Murphy - Brent Seabrook
D3 Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta
Goaltender Anton Forsberg

Stars

Position Players
Position Players
F1 Jamie Benn-Tyler Seguin-Alexander Radulov
F2 Mattias Janmark-Jason Spezza-Devin Shore
F3 Remi Elie-Radek Faksa-Tyler Pitlick
F4 Curtis McKenzie-Gemel Smith-Brett Ritchie
D1 Esa Lindell-John Klingberg
D2 Dan Hamhuis-Greg Pateryn
D3 Jamie Oleksiak-Stephen Johns
Goaltender Ben Bishop

How to watch Stars at Blackhawks

Start time: 7:30 p.m. CT

Location: United Center, Chicago

TV: NBC Sports Chicago