Chicago (27-26-8) did not bring defenseman Erik Gustafsson on the trip as they plan to trade him prior to the NHL’s deadline (2 p.m. Monday). One of their goaltenders could likely be moved as well, but they both traveled with the team. Lucas Carlsson, who was called up from the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL, will make his NHL debut Sunday.
The Blackhawks defeated the Predators 2-1 in overtime Friday in Chicago behind two goals from Alex DeBrincat and a 42-save performance by Corey Crawford. DeBrincat looks to be back on the right track, as he scored two goals on eight shots and ended Chicago’s 0-for-20 power-play goalless streak. He has two assists against the Stars in two games this season, so it will be important to see if he can keep his recent good luck going. Patrick Kane also has two points in those two games.
Crawford will make a second straight start. He’s 11-16-3 with a .915 save percentage and 5.38 goals-saved above average this season.
The Blackhawks enter the game seven points behind the Jets for the second wild card in the Western Conference.
The Stars (35-20-6) trail the Blues by four points for first place in the Central Division with a game in hand. Dallas has won five of its past seven, including a 4-3 loss Feb. 16 at Ottawa and a 5-1 loss to St. Louis on Friday.
Interim head coach Rick Bowness — who is 18-9-3 since taking over — has one of the NHL’s best defenses, allowing the fewest goals against in the Western Conference, which is a combination of their excellent defense and their goaltending duo of Anton Khudobin and Ben Bishop. They have just a positive seven goal differential this season, and a minus-two against the Blackhawks.
Khudobin is slated to start Sunday. He made 73 saves on 76 shots in two games against Chicago in late November. The 33-year old Russian netminder has a 14-7-2 record and a .926 save-percentage this season.
Tyler Seguin paces the Stars offensively with 46 points in 61 games and Jamie Benn is right behind with 33 points and a team-high 18 goals. No Stars player is close to a point-per-game or has hit 20 goals. Their offense lags behind the League average, and part of that may be the lack of production from the blue line, as John Klingberg has just 27 points and Miro Heiskanen leads Dallas defenders with 32.
The Blackhawks are 1-0-1 this season against the Stars, with a 2-1 shootout loss Nov. 23 in Dallas and a 3-0 win three days later in Chicago.
Tale of the tape
Blackhawks — Statistic — Stars
48.6% (22nd) — Corsi For — 48.9% (19th)
46.2% (29th) — Expected goals for — 52.2% (11th)
2.92 (20th) — Goals per game — 2.67 (23rd)
3.13 (22nd) — Goals against per game — 2.56 (3rd)
14.1% (31st) — Power play — 21.2% (13th)
82.1% (t-8th) — Penalty kill — 81% (14th)
Kubalik — Toews — Caggiula
Saad — Carpenter — Kane
DeBrincat — Dach — Strome
Highmore — Kampf — Nylander
Keith — Koekkoek
Carlsson — Murphy
Maatta — Boqvist
Hintz — Seguin — Perry
Benn — Dickinson — Gurianov
Janmark — Pavelski — Radulov
Cogliano — Faksa — Comeau
Lindell — Klingberg
Heiskanen — Johns
Oleksiak — Sekera
How to watch
When: 2 p.m.
Where: United Center, Chicago
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Live stream: NBC Sports app, NHL.tv