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Blackhawks gearing up for 'new season'

January, 26, 2015
Jan 26
11:29
PM CT
Arritt By Dan Arritt
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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LOS ANGELES -- The last time the Chicago Blackhawks exited an All-Star break, they lost their next seven games. It wasn't a stretch to believe the downturn actually began with them dropping their final two heading into the All-Star weekend.

This time around, the Blackhawks took a two-game win streak into the hiatus.

Is it possible that momentum might carry over, too?

We’ll have to wait and see.

"It's kind of a new season," defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said after the Blackhawks wrapped up a 30-minute practice Monday evening at Toyota Sports Center. "It's going to be a little rusty the first couple shifts, but it’s just like riding a bike: After a while, you get right back into it."

Chicago will be in better position to answer whether it has sustained the pre-break momentum after its California swing, which begins Wednesday against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and continues Friday against the Anaheim Ducks before heading north Saturday to visit the San Jose Sharks.

The Blackhawks' most recent post-All-Star swoon came in 2012. The NHL didn't have an All-Star Game in 2013 due to a work stoppage. The Blackhawks then dropped their first game coming off the 20-day Olympic break last winter.

Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa weren't thinking about losing or retaining momentum when they showed up for practice Monday. Both said they were just looking forward to a competitive second half of the season.

"It was nice to clear the mind mentally, not think about hockey for a couple days," Sharp said.

Hossa, who had 10 points in the first 10 games of January after scoring seven in 13 December contests, said it was a relief to get away from the rink, even if the break came when he was playing some of his best hockey of the season.

"There's a second part of the season coming up and you want to [use the All-Star break to] recharge your batteries," he said. "It's going to be an all-out race to the end, and the games get tighter and tighter."

Sharp and Hossa were among the few big names who practiced Monday, with Jonathan Toews, Corey Crawford, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook not in attendance after playing in Sunday’s All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio. Kris Versteeg is not on the road trip -- which continues through Feb. 8 at St. Louis -- as he recovers from a hand injury.

There was one new face on the ice: Dennis Rasmussen, who arrived following his first call-up from the AHL. The forward won't play against the Kings, as Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he wants to stick with the lineup that earned victories against the Arizona Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins prior to the break.

Sharp said the 24-year-old Swede has shown the makings of a great NHL player.

"We saw Ras in training camp," Sharp said. "He's an all-around centerman there. He's a good skater, he's got great offensive skills, takes pride in the defensive side of the game as well, so it was nice to see him on the plane today."

Saad taking leap forward in development

January, 26, 2015
Jan 26
5:17
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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Brandon SaadMike DiNovo/USA TODAY SportsBrandon Saad leads the Blackhawks in 5-on-5 points this season with 28.
Brandon Saad is starting to get this NHL thing.

Saad’s talent has been undeniable since his first NHL call-up as a 19-year-old by the Chicago Blackhawks. From physical strength to puck possession to defensive reliability, he’s proven to be a solid top-6 forward at an early age for one of the league’s premier teams.

Expectations have been placed higher than that, though. While there were spurts during his first two seasons when he showed he could be a game-changer and produce offensively, the thought has often been Saad is capable of even more considering his age and ability. Just wait until he figures it out, people would say.

Saad has begun to figure it out. He's lately playing his most productive and most consistent hockey since joining the league. He’s scored eight goals and registered 11 points over the last 12 games.

What Saad has learned and put to use during his recent run has been the usefulness of getting to net. It’s simple, but quite effective.

“I think a little bit more focus and determination about it,” Saad said recently. “Playing with [Jonathan Toews] and [Marian Hossa] and building some chemistry and making plays. But the biggest thing is getting to the net, tons of rebounds, just sitting around the net. You see players around the league with getting more goals and that’s how they’re going to come.”

Six of Saad’s eight goals have all come by putting himself in that area. Four have come off rebounds and two more by being ready at the net to knock in the puck off a pass.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has recognized a difference in Saad’s recent play.

“I think he’s around the puck a lot, going to the net more, getting open-side goals, stick’s on the ice,” Quenneville said. “He’s getting some free looks because he’s hard to contain. His quickness, whether it’s an odd-man situation, it’s getting him open space. He’s driving with it. He’s a threat off the rush. That line’s playing well together. But we had an ordinary start, but his game right now is what we’re looking for.”

Consistency has been what Quenneville has preached to Saad over the last few seasons. Saad displayed flashes of his potential, but he would disappear at other times. Some of those ups and downs were expected considering his youthfulness.

How Saad closes out the regular season will determine whether he’s truly turned the corner. Saad does believe he has, and the numbers indicate he’s at a level he’s never reached in the past. He’s had a plus-62 Corsi over the last 12 games and had 22 shots on goal over the last four games. He's also first on the team with 28 points in 5-on-5 play.

“I think the more I’m playing, the more experience I get, the more consistent I’m going to be,” Saad said. “This year has been pretty good so far. I’m looking to continue that throughout the second half.”

Toews has also witnessed Saad’s development. Toews and Hossa did a lot of the heavy lifting when Saad played with them as a rookie. Now, Saad is carrying his own weight and making the trio the Blackhawks’ most dangerous line.

“He’s getting better and better,” Toews said. “I think he’s really feeling that if he puts pucks on net, they’re going to go in. It’s good for our line. Regardless of how we score, we want him contributing. Good to see him playing the way he can and getting the results he deserves.”

Blackhawks recall Rasmussen from AHL

January, 25, 2015
Jan 25
5:15
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
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The Chicago Blackhawks recalled forward Dennis Rasmussen from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL on Sunday.

The Blackhawks also placed forward Kris Versteeg on long-term injured reserve. Versteeg suffered a hand fracture on Jan. 1. He has nine goals and 18 assists in 34 games this season.

Rasmussen, 24, has eight goals and eight assists in 44 games in the AHL this season. He signed as a free agent in June of 2014 after previously playing in Sweden.

By the numbers: Kane on pace to set career marks

January, 25, 2015
Jan 25
2:45
PM CT
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Patrick KaneDennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY SportsPatrick Kane is on pace for a career-high scoring season.


Here’s a look at the Chicago Blackhawks by the numbers during the NHL All-Star break:

2: The number of games the Blackhawks held opponents without power-play goals heading into the All-Star break. It was the first time since late December the Blackhawks’ penalty kill had shut out an opponent on the power play in consecutive games (minimum one power play). Their penalty-kill percentage dropped from 91.6 percent on Dec. 23 to 88 percent on Jan. 20. They’re currently first in the league at 88.4 percent. The Vancouver Canucks are second at 88.3 percent.

7: The number of shutouts the Rockford IceHogs, the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, have this season. The IceHogs are one off from tying their franchise record of eight, which was set in the 2004-05 season. Michael Leighton (4), Scott Darling (2) and Mac Carruth (1) have combined for the total this season. A season ago, the IceHogs didn’t record a single shutout.

7.63: The Blackhawks’ shooting percentage in 5-on-5 situations this season. They’re ranked 17th in the league in the category. They were fifth at 8.43 percent last season and haven’t been under eight percent since the 2008-09 season.

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Stephen Johns appeared to have the most potential among the Chicago Blackhawks defenseman prospects to be put on the fast track to the NHL.

The 22-year-old Johns was ahead of most first-year pros when he joined the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, this season as he had four years of college behind him and already had an NHL body at 6-foot-3 and 213 pounds. He lived up to that billing early in the season, too.

But injuries have derailed Johns’ progress during the last few months. He suffered a head injury Nov. 26 which forced him to miss nearly two months. After returning Jan. 16, he suffered a knee injury in his third game back Monday and is expected to miss another 2-3 weeks.

“It’s unfortunate for sure,” IceHogs coach Ted Dent said Thursday. “He put a lot of work into coming back a few weeks ago. He came back and played really well. He was making an impact for our team. To see that happen, it’s unfortunate.”

Dent has been impressed with Johns when he has been in the IceHogs’ lineup. He has six assists and is plus-13 in 23 games.

“He’s been really good,” Dent said. “He’s mature physical and mentally. Most times all of the college players are because they’re older. They have to juggle hockey, studies, social life, everything else at the same time. I think he’s come along really good. He skates well. He’s physical. He’s a good presence out there for us. He’s got a good shot. He’s simple with the puck. He’s effective.”

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Bowman: Hawks unlikely to be active at deadline

January, 22, 2015
Jan 22
11:14
AM CT
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 Cody GarbrandtPatrick McDermott/Getty ImagesDefenseman David Rundblad has seen the most time at the Blackhawks' one unsettled lineup spot.


PITTSBURGH -- Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman will undoubtedly be making and taking calls over the coming month and a half, but he doesn’t expect to make any big moves leading up to the NHL’s trade deadline.

Bowman said Wednesday he believes the Blackhawks’ current roster is capable of competing for another Stanley Cup and doesn’t believe he’ll be doing much in the trade market prior to the deadline on March 2.

“I would never rule things out, but I don’t know if we’re going to be a really active player,” said Bowman before the Blackhawks played the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. “In the game today with the salary cap, we’re essentially right at the cap now. So if you’re going to be adding players, unless you’re trading players away, I’m not sure we’re in that spot.

“Sometimes you have a guy or two who is underperforming or whose contract you’re trying to get rid of, but we don’t really have anyone like that. We like our guys. They’re all contributing. Certainly they have slumps and they play well and struggle at times but, in general, it’s not like we have to get rid of this guy. If you were to trade one of those, you create one hole to fill another.”

Bowman’s confidence stems from the Blackhawks’ success over much of November and December. After a slow start, they went 18-4-1 from Nov. 9-Dec. 29. They’re currently 30-15-2 and are one of seven teams with at 62 points or more. They are three points behind the Nashville Predators for first place in the Central Division.

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Blackhawks carry winning feeling into break

January, 21, 2015
Jan 21
11:27
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
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PITTSBURGH -- Niklas Hjalmarsson imagined Wednesday what the feeling would have been like if the Chicago Blackhawks hadn’t bounced back with consecutive wins following consecutive losses.

“If he would have lost these two games, it would have felt like we didn’t really deserve to have a break,” Hjalmarsson said.

The Blackhawks instead feel worthy of the All-Star Game break after routing the Arizona Coyotes in Chicago on Tuesday and finding a way to pull out a hard-fought road game in a shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

Where the mood in the Blackhawks’ dressing room was dismal after they dropped their second straight home game to a Central Division opponent on Sunday -- leading to a rare team meeting on Monday -- it much lighter and happier Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

[+] EnlargeBlackhawks
Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY SportsBy winning consecutive games for the first time in 2015, the Blackhawks improved to 6-3-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season and carry momentum into the All-Star Game break.
“I think these two wins were big for us, especially today on the road,” Hjalmarsson said. “It’s always nice to get two points. At least we battled hard. That’s all that matters really. As soon as all of us start battling and start winning those 1-on-1 battles, I think we’re a tough team to beat. I think that’s what we started to do the last two games.”

The Blackhawks dominated Tuesday’s game against the Coyotes from start to finish. The result wasn’t surprising, as the Blackhawks were motivated and the Coyotes just haven’t been good lately.

The Blackhawks’ real challenge was getting two points out of Wednesday’s game against the Penguins. How they did it wasn’t pretty either. The Penguins had more shots on goal (35-26) and more puck possession (48-43 Corsi). Aside from the line of Brandon Saad, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, the Blackhawks rarely created offensive chances.

Despite all that, the Blackhawks were leaving Pittsburgh with two points, and that’s what was important to Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.

It was a big step after the Blackhawks failed to get points in spite of being tied with the Winnipeg Jets and Dallas Stars in the third periods on Friday and Sunday.

“Playing the right way,” Quenneville said. “Games that are tied in the third period, we got to make sure we get points. You’re not as comfortable as we’ve been in the last few years in that situation, so probably played a little tighter but found a way to get it to overtime.”

Toews insisted the Blackhawks weren’t panicking when they dropped those back-to-back home losses to the Jets and Stars. He had faith they would be able to turn things around. He felt they showed that promise over the last two games.

“Even when things aren’t going so well," Toews said, “we’re good at taking responsibility for it and not kind of dragging our feet around and not dwelling on what we’re not doing and what’s not going our way. We just find ways we can make things better. We showed an example of that in the last two games.”

Andrew Shaw delivers after being embarrased by recent play

January, 20, 2015
Jan 20
11:18
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
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CHICAGO -- All of the Chicago Blackhawks were driven Tuesday to redeem themselves from their recent sluggish play, but no one more than Andrew Shaw.

Shaw used "embarrassed" and "disappointed" to describe how he felt after being a minus-3 and being given season-low ice time in the Blackhawks' game Sunday. Those feelings stuck with him the past few days and were at the forefront when he went out to play the Arizona Coyotes.

Like a spinning top wound up for days, Shaw was nonstop once he stepped onto the ice Tuesday. His constant work ethic paid off and snapped him out of his recent funk, as he scored two goals, had a game-high eight shots and was a plus-2 in the Blackhawks’ 6-1 win.

[+] EnlargeAndrew Shaw
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastAfter scoring just once in the previous 21 games, Andrew Shaw could enjoy Tuesday's spotlight after scoring twice.
“I just went out and worked as hard as I could,” Shaw said. “I simplified my game and competed to my highest ability.

“Obviously, it’s been awhile, and I’ve been struggling, so it’s huge. The team came out how we needed to tonight. We didn’t like the last two games. We came out with that intensity and pushed it to our limits.”

Shaw dispersed all the tension he had been carrying when he scored at 12:48 of the first period. Teuvo Teravainen delivered a pinpoint pass from the right circle to Shaw at the front of the net. Shaw stopped the puck, spun in the slot and put it past Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith with a backhanded shot. Shaw skated to the glass and punched it with both fists in celebration.

“It was a relief,” Shaw said of the goal. “I needed it for myself. I just had to go out there and keep working and keep moving forward and simplify my game, and I knew I’d get it.”

Shaw didn’t stop working after the first goal, and he put home a second one in the second period, when he scored from the deep slot with a wrist shot. After scoring just once in the previous 21 games, Shaw found himself with two goals in one game. It was his first multigoal game of the season.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville thought he might get that response from Shaw.

“You hope that they get excited, they get angry, whatever it takes to get themselves back either in the productive lane or playing the right way,” Quenneville said. “When he plays the right away, all of a sudden, the puck finds him more.”

Besides Shaw's feeling better about himself, his performance was also a good sign for the Blackhawks as a whole. They have relied on Shaw in recent seasons to be a consistently reliable third-line center who can excel defensively, win puck battles, be a factor around the net and contribute enough to make a difference.

Shaw’s game Tuesday was a step in that direction.

“Tonight, he played a really good game, not just scoring the two goals, but he had the puck a lot, making plays, had some shots on net,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said. “That line looked really good, as well. He’s a big part of our offense. He scores a lot of goals in front of the net. You see the kind of goals he can score on the first one. He’s got good hands, and he can score goals around the net. We’ll definitely need him going, especially the last half of the year.”

Shaw getting back to fundamentals to correct game

January, 20, 2015
Jan 20
12:16
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw hasn’t often been in coach Joel Quenneville’s doghouse.

Only twice prior to Sunday, Shaw had played less than 10 minutes in his first 206 career NHL regular-season games. Quenneville let Shaw know he was unhappy with his play Sunday by first moving him to the fourth line and then limiting him to 9:24 of ice time, including just 2:14 in the third period.

Shaw didn’t blame Quenneville for taking those actions. The usually reliable Shaw is a team-worst minus-10, including being a minus-6 in the last four games, and has one goal over the last 21 games.

“I didn't deserve to play,” Shaw said. “I take full responsibility for that. A couple of those goals [Sunday] were my doing, so the punishment's always there."

“Not happy with [my play], obviously. Now I've just got to get back to fundamentals, be an aggressive player, take pucks to the net, play better defensively and be on the right side of the puck."

Quenneville thought Shaw could improve him game by getting to the puck more.

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W2W4: Coyotes at Blackhawks

January, 20, 2015
Jan 20
12:12
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- Here’s what to watch for when the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes play at the United Center on Tuesday:

• The Blackhawks have been struggling in recent weeks. They are 5-6-0 and have allowed 38 goals in their last 11 games. They’re coming off consecutive home losses to Central Division opponents. The Blackhawks held a team meeting Monday to address their issues.

• The Coyotes have had their own share of problems lately. They arrive to Chicago with a five-game losing streak and are 2-5-1 in January. The Coyotes are 16-24-5 overall this season.

• The Blackhawks’ morning skate lines were Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsMarian Hossa, Bryan BickellBrad RichardsPatrick Kane, Patrick SharpAndrew Shaw - Teuvo Teravainen, Joakim NordstromMarcus KrugerBen Smith. Their defenseman pairings are expected to be Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson, David Rundblad - Michal Rozsival.

Antti Raanta will start in net for the Blackhawks. He’s 6-3-0 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .934 save percentage.

Mike Smith is expected to start in net for the Coyotes. He's 7-19-3 with a 3.43 goals-against average and .887 save percentage.

• Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo was suspended six games Monday for his crosscheck on Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault.

• The Coyotes are led by Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s 12 goals and forward Antoine Vermette’s 30 points. Tobias Rieder is the only player with a positive plus/minus rating.

• The Blackhawks are led by Kane’s 21 goals and 48 points. Saad is second on the team with 15 goals and has eight goals in the last 10 games.

Hawks hold team meeting to discuss recent struggles

January, 19, 2015
Jan 19
2:28
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks rarely hold team meetings.

Consistently winning has a lot to do with that. Teams don’t usually like to discuss their success too much.

Something has to be noticeably off for the Blackhawks to get together and address an issue. On Monday, the Blackhawks felt it was time to do just that.

After dropping six of their last 11 games, including consecutive home games to Central Division opponents, and allowing 38 goals in that span, the Blackhawks called a team meeting.

“Leadership stepped up and we've got to expect teams wanting to beat us,” Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw said after an optional practice on Monday. “We're a good team and we have a lot of great things going for us, but we haven't been playing our best hockey the past few games and we've got to come out there the rest of the year and push to make the playoffs.”

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Defense lets Blackhawks down again

January, 18, 2015
Jan 18
9:12
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks veterans Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa first spoke to the media Sunday and denied having any concerns over their team’s recent defensive struggles.

The less-experienced Brandon Saad followed Toews and Hossa and admitted there was some concern.

The truth is probably somewhere in between.

The Blackhawks’ downward trend continued Sunday as they lost 6-3 to the Dallas Stars at the United Center. Their decline began with a 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Dec. 23 and has lasted 11 games. During that span, the Blackhawks have gone 5-6-0 and allowed 38 goals.

Sunday’s defeat for the Blackhawks included some of the repeating elements from recent games. They allowed multiple first-period goals. They weren’t pleased with their defensive gap. The penalty kill allowed a key third-period goal. They didn’t follow their game plan.
[+] EnlargeBlackhawks
Cal Sport Media/AP ImagesOffense has not been a problem for the Blackhawks, but falling behind early and struggling to kill penalties are concerning trends.

“Poor defensive play -- pretty simple,” Toews said. “We know a team like that is skilled. They want to make plays. They want to pass the puck through the middle. We went into it, we were talking about taking away those plays and forwards coming back hard, not letting them have those backdoor tap-ins like we did tonight.

“We didn’t commit ourselves to playing the right type of game. We played hard. We played well at times where we sustained the pressure, sustained the control of play. Then we had lapses where we were giving up 2-on-1s. It was evident through our entire game, whether it was our power play or penalty kill or 5-on-5, we weren’t good enough in that area tonight.”

That said, Toews dismissed the idea of the Blackhawks being worried about their play.

“You’re going to have some tough moments throughout the season,” Toews said. “We’re not going to overreact and make a huge deal about anything, just as we don’t get overconfident when things are going our way.

“We always realize it comes to our work ethic. The last few games we didn’t have that, and we didn’t get the result we wanted. It’s pretty evident. If we work hard enough, we got the ability to turn things around pretty quickly and get our confidence going as a team. Scoring goals isn’t a worry. We know that’s going to come if we play the right way and play on the defensive side of the puck.”

Offense hasn’t been an issue for the Blackhawks. They have scored 32 goals over the past 11 games. They’re scoring enough to keep them in games.

Aside from letting three goals go to waste Sunday, the Blackhawks were also frustrated they lost a second consecutive game to an opponent coming off a game the day before, while the Blackhawks were home resting. The Jets were also in the second game of a back-to-back when they defeated the Blackhawks at the United Center on Friday.

“The past two games are two games we should have won,” Saad said. “Two divisional games that are big games. Those are tough losses.”

If the Blackhawks’ dip in play isn’t enough to get their attention, the Central Division standings certainly will. They have fallen six points behind the Nashville Predators (64 points) and two points behind the St. Louis Blues (60 points), and the Jets are now tied with the Blackhawks with 58 points. The Blackhawks are still in third place over the Jets because they have played two fewer games.

“We’re not happy,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “Home game we’re expected to win. Team played the night before -- points you got to have. Divisional game -- shows our division’s competitiveness. Teams are fighting like whatever it takes to put themselves in a playoff position.

“We saw two opponents in the last two nights that are trying to move ahead. That’s what we’re going to face every night. We have to be more competitive than we saw, and we need everyone more competitive.”

Rapid Reaction: Stars 6, Blackhawks 3

January, 18, 2015
Jan 18
7:56
PM CT
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CHICAGO – Here’s a quick look at the Dallas Stars’ 6-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at the United Center:
How it happened: The Stars found a way to score every which way against the Blackhawks. The Stars scored on the penalty kill, power play and at even strength. They broke a 3-3 tie early in the third period when Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin connected for a power-play goal. Erik Cole added a goal to go ahead 5-3 and finally an empty-netter. The teams combined for six goals through two periods. The Stars tallied the game’s first two goals when Seguin scored his 28th goal of the season at 6:33 of the first period and Eakin scored a shorthanded goal at 10:49. The Blackhawks answered with goals by Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad. The Stars took a 3-2 lead when Vernon Fiddler scored with 48.4 seconds remaining in the first period. Saad tied the game at 3-3 in the second period. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford had 28 saves. Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen started for the second consecutive day and made 38 saves in the win.

What it means: The Blackhawks haven’t been the same team over their past 11 games. They are 5-6-0 and have allowed 38 goals in that span. The Blackhawks dropped their second consecutive game and fell to 28-15-2 on the season. The Stars improved to 21-17-7. Saad’s play was one of the highlights for the Blackhawks in the loss. He scored two goals and has seven goals in the past 10 games. He has 15 goals on the season -- just four short of his career high.

Player of the game: Eakin scored two special teams’ goals. He has nine goals on the season.

Stat of the game: Crawford hadn’t allowed five goals in a regular-season game since Nov. 16, 2013.

What’s next: The Blackhawks remain home and play the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday.

Carcillo to have phone hearing on Monday

January, 18, 2015
Jan 18
6:41
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo waived his right to an in-person hearing and will have a phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Monday regarding his recent crosscheck on Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault.

Carcillo could be suspended six games or more because the NHL opted to offer him an in-person hearing rather than a phone hearing.

Carcillo did not play against the Dallas Stars on Sunday as he awaited his hearing. He was replaced by Joakim Nordstrom in the lineup.

“It’s there, and we’ll have to deal with it,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Carcillo’s hearing before the game.

The incident occurred Friday when Carcillo skated up to Perreault from behind, cross-checked him in a downward motion and connected his stick to Perreault's left arm with 9.5 seconds remaining in the second period. Perreault left the game while holding his left arm and did not return. Perreault is expected to miss at least two games, Jets coach Paul Maurice said on Sunday.

Carcillo has been suspended by the league eight previous times. He was suspended six games in the playoffs last season for elbowing a linesman in the face. He was given two suspensions during the 2011-12 season, two suspensions during the 2010-11 season and three suspensions during the 2009-10 season.

Carcillo said Saturday his intent was not to injure Perreault and hoped the Jets player would be OK.

Carcillo has four goals, three assists and has averaged 8:17 of ice time in 31 games this season. He signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks in October.

W2W4: Stars at Blackhawks

January, 18, 2015
Jan 18
3:53
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- Here’s what to watch when the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks play at the United Center on Sunday:

• The Blackhawks and Stars meet for the fourth time this season. The Blackhawks won the first game in a shootout, the second one in regulation and third one in overtime. They have one remaining regular-season game after this one.

• The Blackhawks are in third place in the Central Division with a 28-14-2 record and 58 points. They’re 3-4-0 since Jan. 1. They haven’t had more than a one-game winning or losing streak in 2015. They last played on Friday.

• The Stars are sixth in the Central Division with a 20-17-7 record and 47 points. They have been streaky as of late. They had four-game winning and losing streaks since Dec. 27. They defeated the Washington Capitals 5-4 on Saturday.

• The Blackhawks’ lines are expected to be Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsMarian Hossa, Bryan BickellBrad RichardsPatrick Kane, Patrick SharpTeuvo TeravainenBen Smith, Joakim NordstromMarcus KrugerAndrew Shaw. Their defenseman pairings are expected to be Johnny OduyaNiklas Hjalmarsson, Duncan KeithBrent Seabrook, David RundbladMichal Rozsival.

• Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo will not play on Sunday. He is scheduled to meet with the NHL Department of Player Safety because of a crosscheck on Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault on Friday. Carcillo is suspended while awaiting his in-person hearing.

• The Stars are led by Tyler Seguin's 27 goals and 50 points. Kane leads the Blackhawks with 20 goals and 47 points. Seguin and Kane were teammates in Switzerland during the NHL lockout in 2012.

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Patrick Kane
PTS GOALS AST +/-
51 22 29 9
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Kane 22
AssistsP. Kane 29
+/-J. Toews 16
GAAC. Crawford 2.26