How the Stars stole Christmas (by shutting out the Blackhawks)
Well that wasn’t fun.
The Chicago Blackhawks’ winning streak came to a screeching halt with a 4-0 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. Instead of pushing the run to six straight victories, the Hawks fell to 4-6-2 against Central Division opponents with a defensive letdown on the road.
Tyler Seguin scored twice and Jamie Benn added a goal of his own as part of the Stars’ win. The Hawks actually held a 75-54 advantage in shot attempts and 24-22 advantage in shots on goal, but an off night from Corey Crawford and some ugly luck with shots off the post cost Chicago in the end.
Ben Bishop finished with 24 saves on 24 shots for his third shutout of the season.
Benn scored in the first period before the Stars pulled away in the second with two goals from Seguin and another from Antoine Roussel. Benn and Seguin had been slumping lately, but it certainly didn’t look like that watching from my couch.
This game could’ve been a lot closer with some better bounces, but otherwise, there weren’t many positives to take away from a disappointing defeat. The Hawks had just won back-to-back games against the Wild and Jets that showed they might be reaching form. Now it’s back to the drawing board with one more game before the Christmas break.
CHI GOALS: ERROR — File Not Found
DAL GOALS: Benn (15), Roussel (4), Seguin 2 (16)
Curse you, iron!
Alex DeBrincat hit the side of the post with a shot midway through the first period. Later on, Brent Seabrook and Patrick Kane would each do the same. The last one was the 28th time that the Blackhawks have had a shot hit the post or crossbar this season, according to NHL.com.
That’s second in the league behind the Flames, who have hit the post or crossbar 30 times. The Capitals are tied for second with the Hawks, followed by the Penguins (25), Oilers (24), and Canucks (24). It’s fair to say that Chicago has had some nasty puck luck at times this season.
Stars officially hold the tiebreaker
Let’s hope this season doesn’t come down to a playoff spot between the Hawks and Stars. With the win Thursday, Dallas now has a 3-0-0 record against Chicago this season. Of course, this only matters if both teams are tied in the standings and have the same number of regulation wins after 82 games. But this is part of why you want to win against your divisional foes because the Stars now hold that tiebreaker.
Defense changes are likely coming again
The Hawks stuck with the same defensive lineup as the past few games Thursday, which makes sense considering they entered on a five-game winning streak. However, with just one more game in the next week, it’s likely that Jan Rutta and/or Cody Franson will draw back into the lineup sooner than later. The search for a steady six-man grouping trudges on.
- Tyler Seguin (DAL) — 2 goals
- Ben Bishop (DAL) — 22 saves on 22 shots
- Jamie Benn (DAL) — 1 goal
The Hawks have a day off before they visiting the Devils on Saturday evening.