Since the Trade Deadline on April 3rd no team has been hotter or had hotter players than the Dallas Stars. Dallas has won five straight games since the trade deadline and fought back right into the playoff races of the western conference since being in 13th on trade deadline day April 3rd. The Stars latest charge has been led by a new group of leadership. Alex Chiasson has come up from the minors and been a force on the Stars scoring six goals in six games and riding a five game point streak entering Monday’s game, Vernon Fiddler led the lead in points since April 3rd with ten (2g, 8a), and Richard Bachman has stepped up since his early season struggles to win every game he has started since Kari Lehtonen’s latest absence due to injury. Dallas is fighting to keep it’s playoff hopes alive and Monday had to face the best team in the NHL which would be a big test for this new look Stars team. The Stars were needing a win to move back into the top eight with Detroit reclaiming the eight seed over the weekend, Dallas stayed resilient through out the game, but Chicago is the best in the NHL for a reason and they showed it tonight.
Keys to Dallas’ latest win streak has been their ability to get off to fast starts, and in this game that didn’t happen as Chicago got the first step on Dallas. Dallas was unable to help it’s own cause with penalty trouble as the Stars took two first period minors. The Blackhawks kept the puck in the Dallas zone for most of the period and Richard Bachman was peppered with 13 first period shots. Chicago goaltender Ray Emery barely got tested in the first only facing four shots on net. A big blow to Dallas offense also came in the opening period as Alex Chiasson left the game with a shoulder injury. The Blackhawks struck first at the 12:54 mark of the first period as Jonathan Toews tipped in a Marian Hossa shot for his 21st goal of the season. The Blackhawks dominated the first period, but the goal deficit was only one as Chicago ended the first ahead 1-0
Dallas continued to hang on, but turnovers were costly for the Stars tonight. Chicago pushed their lead to 2-0 when Viktor Stalberg scored his ninth goal of the season at the 12:14 mark of the period. Dallas was able to cut the lead in half quick at the 14:12 mark Jamie Benn finally broke through Ray Emery with a wrist shot for his ninth goal of the season. Dallas kept the shots a bit more even this period only being outshot 9-7, and the deficit still at one goal as Chicago led 2-1 after two periods.
It didn’t take long for Dallas to tie this game as Jamie Benn put the team on his shoulders tonight. Benn scored his second of the game and tenth of the season at the 3:07 mark of the period. After the game was tied Chicago took their game to another level and struck the Stars quick, Andrew Shaw scored his ninth goal of the season just 84 seconds after Benn had tied the game, and Niklas Hjalmarsson restored Chicago’s two goal lead a few minutes later. Marian Hossa added an empty netter at the end of the period to give Chicago their 5-2 victory in their season sweep of the Dallas Stars.
- Dallas went 0-2-1 this season against Chicago, and they get more of them next season as these two will be division rivals.
- Richard Bachman was definitely not the blame this game as he played expectionally well, but Chicago just outplayed Dallas.
- All three streaks for the Stars came to an end this game: Chiasson and Fiddler’s point streaks and Richard Bachman’s winning decision streak.
- The amazing season of Ray Emery continues as he is now 16-1-0 with a Goals Against Average of 1.91 and a save percentage of .923%
- Jamie Benn stepped up tonight, and the Stars are gonna need more of that from him and the other top players in the remaining six games.
- Playoff Update: Dallas’ loss tonight knocks them down to tenth place as Columbus took over ninth place. A good win streak for the Stars could push them as high as sixth.
- Three Stars of the Game chosen by the Chicago Media: 1. Andrew Shaw 2. Marian Hossa 3. Jamie Benn
- Dallas has two games off before they take on the Vancouver Canucks Thursday in Dallas, puck drops at 7:30