Looking to bounce back from a home setback on Saturday afternoon, the Dallas Stars (6-7-4) are back on the road tonight to take on the powerful but inconsistent Chicago Blackhawks (9-7-1). Game time is 6:00 p.m. CST. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.
This is the second of five meetings between the teams this season.
On opening night of the 2014-15 regular season, the host Stars outplayed the Blackhawks for much of the game. Dallas was unable to protect a lead, however, and went on to lose 3-2 via shootout.
The Stars are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild yesterday at the American Airlines Center. Dallas has inexplicably struggled on home ice this season, winning just one of nine games (1-4-4) after enjoying a significant home-ice edge during the 2013-14 season.
After a scoreless first period, Antoine Roussel scored in a scramble around the net to give Dallas a 1-0 lead. With 4:19 remaining in the middle period, Brenden Dillon turned over a pass intended for Ryan Garbutt, and the Wild’s Eric Haula scored on a 2-on-1 counterattack. At the 40-second mark of the third period, Mikael Granlund cashed in a preventable rebound on a shot by Charlie Coyle.
Dallas won each of its two previous road games heading into yesterday’s home loss. For the season, the Stars are 5-3-0 on the road. Chicago is 6-3-1 on home ice.
With tonight’s game being Dallas’ third game in four night and the back end of a back-to-back, head coach Lindy Ruff appears to have little choice but to give struggling backup goaltender Anders Lindbäck the start in goal against Chicago. Lindbäck has fared poorly in all three of his starts to date this season, posting an .850 save percentage while allowing at least one stoppable goal in each game en route to an 0-3-0 record and 4.41 goals against average. Corey Crawford will be in goal for the Blackhawks tonight.
Yesterday, the Stars announced that second-year forward Valeri Nichushkin, who has played only four games this season while being plagued since training camp with a hip/groin problem, is being shelved because the issue has not resolved. The player will undergo hip surgery and will miss four months.
Elsewhere on the Dallas injury front, right winger Patrick Eaves (lower body) remains out of the lineup. Rookie defenseman Patrik Nemeth (forearm laceration from a skate cut) is out for the season.
Chicago enters this came coming off an ugly 4-1 road loss in Detroit on Friday. The Blackhawks found themselves trailing 3-0 by the time the game was 14 minutes old, and were unable to make much headway in digging out of the hole.
For the Hawks, star forward Patrick Sharp (leg) is out of the lineup.