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Blackhawks shut down Stars for 2-1 win

Alex DeBrincat scores the winning goal, and Corey Crawford makes 26 saves.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks held the Stars to 27 shots and blocked 21 shot attempts in a 2-1 win Saturday at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

David Kampf picked up his fourth goal of the season, and Alex DeBrincat scored the game-winning goal set up by Patrick Kane.

How it Happened

Five minutes into the first period, the fourth line got a 2-on-1 opportunity after Marcus Kruger won a board battle on a pinching Dallas defender. Kampf carried the puck into the zone, slid it to Chris Kunitz, and got a one touch pass right back. Kampf whacked the give-and-go past Anton Khudobin for his fourth goal of the season and his first goal since Nov. 24.

A minute after the Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead, Tyler Seguin picked up a puck at the blue line and dumped it into the opposite corner. Erik Gustafsson thought Dylan Sikura was going to grab the puck, but Sikura ended up flying the zone. After the resulting scrum on the boards, the Stars came out with the puck and Seguin got a pass in the high slot. He took a quick shot that bounced right to a lurking Alexander Radulov, who put it home to tie it 1-1.

Near the end of the first period, Connor Murphy blocked a snapper by Seguin, which sprung Kane, DeBrincat and Dylan Strome on a 3-on-2. DeBrincat beat John Klingberg to the offensive zone blue line and got an area pass by Kane for a breakaway. DeBrincat rifled a shot low blocker for his 37th goal of the season to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead going into the intermission.

In the second period, the fourth line continued to have an impressive game. They were driving possession every shift they had, and drew a penalty after Kunitz barely missed scoring on a drive to the net.

It was a fast and exciting period with chances on both ends. In addition to the fourth line playing well, Sikura had a couple noticeable shifts where he played with patience and confidence. He set up Keith wide open in the slot and almost put home the resulting rebound for his first career NHL goal.

With 20 seconds to go in the period, Kane set up Dominik Kahun with a chance backdoor that Khudobin stymied. The Stars roared right back down the ice and Corey Crawford made a big stop to hold the lead.

Not surprisingly, the Stars started the third period on fire. They spent lots of time in the Blackhawks’ defensive zone, but Crawford and the defensive core was up to the task. Murphy and Brent Seabrook had a couple courageous blocks, and the zone coverage was tight.

Once the Blackhawks got through the early surge by the Stars, head coach Jeremy Colliton rolled the lines and Khudobin had to make a number of high quality saves to keep Chicago’s lead at 2-1. Kane, Toews, Saad and Anisimov all had chances that were either blocked or saved.

On the other end of the ice, the Blackhawks had one of their best defensive periods of the season. They kept the Stars to the outside whenever they had possession in the offensive zone, and gave Crawford easy looks on shots that were barely ever from a dangerous area.

The Blackhawks got another chance on the power play late in the third period, but could not convert. In this recent slump on the man advantage, they have gone 0 for 12.

The Stars pulled their goalie with a little more than a minute to go in the third, but the Blackhawks locked it up in their own end and picked up two huge points on the road.

Three Stars

  1. Alex DeBrincat (CHI) - Game-winning goal, 65.8 Corsi-For rating, 17:28 TOI.
  2. Chris Kunitz (CHI) - One assist, five shots (season high), 11:52 TOI.
  3. Connor Murphy (CHI) - One assist, seven blocks, 23:06 TOI.

What’s Next?

The Blackhawks host the Arizona Coyotes at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the United Center.