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NHL on NBCSN: Will Blackhawks stop rising Stars?

Apr 15, 2013, 8:04 AM EST

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 16: Jamie Benn #14 of the Dallas Stars handles the puck against Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks at the American Airlines Center on March 16, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars at the United Center at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The Detroit Red Wings won last night. Now the Stars have to respond.

Dallas had the slimmest lead on the eighth seed prior to Detroit’s win and the Stars can reclaim it again with a victory against Chicago tonight. Beating the Blackhawks this season is a tall order, but the odds haven’t stopped Dallas lately.

How often do you see a team fully embrace the seller role in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline and still somehow make the playoffs? The Stars dealt Brenden Morrow, Derek Roy, and Jaromir Jagr for picks and prospects and those that were left seemed to haven taken it as a challenge.

They’ve won five straight games, three on the road and four against teams that currently hold a playoff spot, to force their way back into the competition. With three of their top forwards now playing for other teams, 22-year-old rookie Alex Chiasson has stepped up with six goals and seven points in six career games.

All the same, a five-game winning streak isn’t exactly the type of thing that’s likely to intimidate the Chicago Blackhawks. They’re on one right now, although they’ve obviously been on far better streaks this season.

Chicago is 32-5-4 in 2013 and the only real question left is whether or not they’ll win the Presidents’ Trophy. With little else left to accomplish before the playoffs, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville wants to see them fight for it.

“It’s a nice achievement, but we still want to finish first in other categories until the end of the year. That’s our motivation,” coach Joel Quenneville told CSN Chicago after his team won the Central Division title. “Let’s keep pushing forward and look for more consistency in our game.”

Probable goaltenders: CHI – Ray Emery (15-1-0, 1.90 GAA, .924 SV%) | DAL – Richard Bachman (6-3-0, 3.18 GAA, .884 SV%)

Top scorers: CHI – Patrick Kane (20-26-46, 41 GP) | DAL – Jamie Benn (8-19-27, 34 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Chicago – Forwards: Patrick Sharp (shoulder)
Dallas – Forwards: Lane MacDermid (chest) Goaltenders: Kari Lehtonen (groin)

  1. thehighcountrybear - Apr 15, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Hopefully…

  2. chicagobtech - Apr 15, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Mmm…tough call here. On one hand, I’d like to see Chicago extend the points lead over Pittsburgh. On the other hand, the ability to see Detroit end up 9th does have its benefits.

    • valoisvipers - Apr 15, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      So are you saying the Hawks are afraid of the Wings in a first round match up?
      As average as the Wings have looked this season they are still a team that knows what the playoffs are all about and could put up a long win streak of their own.

      • chicagobtech - Apr 15, 2013 at 10:25 AM

        I don’t speak for the team, I speak for myself. I for one would love to see Detroit’s streak snap.

  3. comeonnowguys - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    It is a tough call. But if you look at all the other teams hanging around that 8th seed, they’re all gummy (or formerly gummy) teams that would lead to games as exciting as paint-drying marathons. So seeing Detroit would at least be more entertaining.

  4. capsrockva - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    I just hope it’s a good game to watch since none of the East is being televised here in the DC area

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