Dallas Stars: Corey Crawford

Blackhawks down Stars, 4-1

March, 16, 2012

The Dallas Stars opened a key four-game homestand with a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at American Airlines Center on Friday night. The Blackhawks scored 10 seconds into the game and never looked back, scoring another goal 1:42 into the game to build an early 2-0 lead.

Jamie Benn scored the lone goal for Dallas, which lost its second straight game and saw a four-game winnings streak at home come to an end.

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen allowed four goals on 31 shots.

The Stars did not have a power play for the second straight game.

Patrick Sharp scored two goals for Blackhawks, who pulled three points ahead of the Stars.

First period

The Blackhawks struck just 10 seconds into the game as Dave Bolland beat Kari Lehtonen with a shot from the slot.

The Blackhawks made it a 2-0 game at the 1:42 mark when Patrick Shark ripped a shot by Lehtonen from the left circle.

The Blackhawks had the first power play of the game, but failed to cash in on it. They got a four minute power play after Michael Ryder was given a double minor for high sticking Marian Hossa, but that one lasted only 90 seconds after Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith was called for interference.

Chicago had a 12-5 shots advantage through the first period.

Second period

The Stars outshot the Blackhawks 11-6 in the second period and had some good offensive pressure at times, but couldn’t get a puck past Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, who had some nice saves, including a couple of saves on close range bids by Loui Eriksson with just under four minutes left in the period.

Third period

Chicago blew the game open with two goals in the first 1:45 of the third period. The Blackhawks made it a 3-0 game when Marian Hossa’s shot from the right point deflected off the stick of Stars defenseman Adam Pardy and past Lehtonen 33 seconds into the period.

Just 1:12 later the Stars coughed up the puck and Sharp scored his second of the night, putting home a shot from the slot to put the Blackhawks up 4-0.

The Stars got on the board with 5:50 remaining when Jamie Benn slipped a puck past Crawford to make it a 4-1 game.

Stars lineup



Lehtonen (starter)

Injured: Souray (charley horse), Dvorak (ankle)
Scratched: Petersen, Garbutt, Jordie Benn

Philip Larsen a game-time decision

March, 16, 2012
DALLAS -- Dallas Stars defenseman Philip Larsen, who banged his knee into the endboards in Wednesday's 5-2 loss at Winnipeg, is a game-time decision for tonight's game against Chicago at American Airlines Center.

Larsen skated this morning, but if he can't play, then the Stars will insert Jordie Benn into the lineup.

"Jordie Benn is more than capable to go in if we need him," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said.

Sheldon Souray (charley horse) and Radek Dvorak (ankle) both skated with the team this morning. Neither player will go tonight, but both players should be ready Tuesday.

Kari Lehtonen will start in goal for the Stars tonight. Gulutzan indicated that Lehtonen will play all four games of the homestand.

Corey Crawford gets the nod in net for the Blackhawks.

Stars-Blackhawks Preview

March, 15, 2012

Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars
Friday, March 16
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (39-27-5) had a six-game winning streak and an 11-game points streak snapped with a 5-2 loss at Winnipeg on Wednesday.

“We beat ourselves, we didn’t play well, we turned pucks over way too easy,” Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas said. “We didn’t play a simple game like we’ve been doing in the past 11, 12 games. We’ve just got to go back to basics.”

Friday’s game against Chicago kicks off a four-game homestand that will see the Stars also play Phoenix, Vancouver and Calgary.

Kari Lehtonen is scheduled to start in goal for the Stars Friday.

Injuries: D Philip Larsen (lower body) is day-to-day. RW Radek Dvorak (ankle) and D Sheldon Souray (lower body) are out.

About the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks (38-25-8) are coming off a 4-3 shootout victory over St. Louis on Tuesday. The Blackhawks overcame a 3-1 deficit in the game and put 46 shots on goal against the defensive-minded Blues.

“That was a fun game,” Chicago forward Patrick Kane said. “A really fun game. … To put up 40-plus shots on a team like that, that is so defensive, says something about our team. What we can do when we play to our potential.”

Chicago improved to 5-2-0 over its last seven games.

Corey Crawford is scheduled to start in goal for the Blackhawks.

Injuries: D Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) is questionable. C Jonathan Toews (concussion), D Steve Montador (concussion), LW Daniel Carcillo (knee) and D Sami Lepisto (leg) are out.

Series notes

*This is the fourth and final meeting between the two teams.

*The Stars are 2-1-0 in the season series and the Blackhawks are 1-2-0.

*October 7, at Dallas: Stars 2, Blackhawks 1
*October 8, at Chicago: Blackhawks 5, Stars 2
*February 23, at Chicago, Stars 3, Blackhawks 1

*If the playoffs started Friday, the Stars and Blackhawks would meet in the first round.

Statistical tidbits

*Over his last nine starts, Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen is 8-0-1 with a 1.29 goals against average, .955 save percentage and three shutouts.

*Lehtonen has posted shutouts in his last two starts and is currently riding a 128:32 shutout streak.

*Dallas is 4-0-1 in its last five home games.

*The Stars are 36-38 (94.7%) on the penalty kill over the last 12 games.

*Chicago is 11-12 (91.7) on the penalty kill over the last six games.

*Stars forward Loui Eriksson has 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) in his last 11 games.

*Chicago forward Patrick Kane has 8 points (5 goals, 3 assists) over his last 8 games.

It’s funny how a couple of wins can change things. After going 2-0-0 on their road trip, the Dallas Stars find themselves holding down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference standings. They pushed themselves into that position with a brilliant third period effort Thursday night, scoring three goals to rally past the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-1 at the United Center.

“It was two real big points,” said Stars forward Loui Eriksson. “We’ve got to keep building here.”

The Stars are now tied with Los Angeles and Calgary at 66 points but they own the first tiebreaker, which is regulation/overtime wins and that is what has them in eighth place.

The Stars got a big performance Thursday from goaltender Richard Bachman, who was making his first start in three weeks. He stopped 26 shots, including some huge ones in the second period when Chicago dominated play.

“It was nice to get back in there and see some action,” Bachman said. “I felt pretty calm there for a crazy environment. It was a great game and felt solid.”

The Stars trailed 1-0 going into the third period in Chicago, but dominated the third period. The Stars, who had just 10 shots entering the third period, outshot the Blackhawks 15-5 over the final 20 minutes and got goals from Steve Ott, Eriksson and Michael Ryder to secure the victory.

“Our leadership group took a stand between the second and third, and we got going,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan.

Gulutzan juggled lines in the third period, putting Ott on a line with Ryan Garbutt and Adam Burish and that trio paid dividends. After the Blackhawks won a draw in their own zone, the Stars kept them pinned in and Ott deflected a Trevor Daley shot past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford to tie the game with 10:35 left in regulation.

The Stars took the lead with 5:02 left when Mike Ribeiro put a shot on net from near the right point and Ryder tipped it into the net forward what would turn out to be the game-winner.

“We know that we didn’t have many shots generated going into the third. We were still in the game, we just had to make sure that we got more pucks to the net and stepped our game up,” said Ryder. “We knew we had to play a hard 20 and we did that. We threw pucks at the net and got some traffic.”

Just 1:14 after he scored to give the Stars the lead, Ryder put a shot on net from the right circle that hit traffic, went up in the air and Eriksson put it into the net.

The Blackhawks dominated the second period, outshooting the Stars 16-5 but getting only one puck past Bachman. After Michael Frolik came out from behind the goal line and tried to put a puck on net, Marian Hossa scored during the ensuing scramble.

Hossa came close to making a 2-0 score in the final seconds of the second period, but Bachman got a piece of his shot from the slot and the puck hit the outside of the post. Earlier in the period, Bachman made a diving save on Jimmy Hayes when the game was still scoreless.

The Stars return home Friday to take on the Minnesota Wild. The Stars will be looking for their first three-game winning streak since the middle of December, and possibly the beginning of that run that has been eluding them.

“We’re all looking for that run at this time of the year, but the reality is it is very tough,” said Gulutzan. “But picking up two points whenever you can get them, especially in a tough building like this, is good. Now we’ve got to win at home.”


*The Stars did not have a power play in a game for the second time this season. The Stars have had just two power plays over the last three games.

*Stars center Jamie Benn (leg) missed his fourth straight game. He is doubtful for Friday.

*Stars forward Jake Dowell (broken finger) and left wing Brenden Morrow (neck/shoulder) were both out as well.

*D Adam Pardy and LW Matt Fraser were healthy scratches for Dallas.

*Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed his second straight game with an upper body injury. Toews was involved in a minor car accident Thursday, but was not injured.

*The Stars are now 6-4-2 in the first game of back-to-backs this season. They are 0-9-2 in second games.

Stars rally past Blackhawks, 3-1

February, 23, 2012
The Dallas Stars scored three period goals, rallying to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night at the United Center. The Stars moved into eighth place in the Western Conference. They are tied with Calgary and Los Angeles at 66 points, but the Stars hold the first tiebreaker, which is regulation/overtime wins.

Steve Ott, Michael Ryder and Loui Eriksson scored for the Stars. Richard Bachman was superb in net for the Stars, stopping 26 of 27 shots to improve to 7-3-1 on the season. Chicago had a four-game winning streak come to an end.

First period

The Blackhawks outshot the Stars 6-5 in the period and both goaltenders had sharp saves.

Stars goalie Richard Bachman stopped a point blank bid by Jimmy Hayes with Chicago on the power play early in the period and then stopped defenseman Nick Leddy’s bid from the left circle late in the period.

Chicago’s Corey Crawford stopped a shorthanded bid by Adam Burish and a good look by Tomas Vincour from the slot.

The Blackhawks had the only power play of the period.

Second period

The Blackhawks outshot the Stars 16-5 in the second period and scored the only goal of the period to take a 1-0 lead into the second intermission.

The goal came at the 9:32 mark. Michael Frolik came out from behind the goal line, tried to put a puck on net and Marian Hossa scored in the ensuing scramble.

Hossa came close to scoring in the final seconds of the period, but Bachman got a piece of his shot from the slot and it hit the outside of the post.

There were no power plays in the second period. The Blackhawks had a 22-10 shots advantage through the first 40 minutes.

Third period

The Stars brought a strong push in the third period and scored three goals to surge past the Blackhawks.

Glen Gulutzan juggled his lines, moving Steve Ott to a line with Ryan Garbutt and Burish and the trio paid dividends. Ott tipped a Trevor Daley shot past Crawford at the 9:28 mark to tie the game at 1-1.

A little more than five minutes later, the Stars took a 2-1 lead when Mike Ribeiro put a shot on net from near the right point and Michael Ryder tipped it into the net at the 14:58 mark.

Just 1:14 later the Stars struck again when Ryder put a shot on net that deflected off traffic, up into the air and Loui Eriksson knocked it into the net.

The Stars had a 15-5 shots advantage in the third period.

Stars lineup



Bachman (starter)

Injured: Benn (leg), Morrow (neck/shoulder), Dowell (finger)
Scratched: Pardy, Fraser

Stars-Blackhawks Preview

February, 22, 2012

Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks
Thursday February 23
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (30-26-4) won 3-0 at Montreal Tuesday behind Kari Lehtonen’s 31-save shutout. Ryan Garbutt scored his first NHL goal and Mike Ribeiro scored a goal in his first regular season game in Montreal since being traded from the Canadiens to Dallas in 2006.

The Stars are two points out of a playoff spot and if they win Thursday, and Calgary loses to Phoenix, the Stars would move into eighth place in the Western Conference.

“What we have to do to be successful is copy what we did in (Tuesday) night’s win,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We have to play as a team; we have to keep things short and hard. That’s what we’ll focus on (Thursday).”

Richard Bachman will start in goal for Dallas.

The Stars placed center Jake Dowell (broken finger) on injured reserve Wednesday and recalled left wing Matt Fraser from the Texas Stars of the AHL.

Injuries: RW Adam Burish (illness) and D Sheldon Souray (foot) are probable. C Jamie Benn (leg) is doubtful. C Jake Dowell (finger) and LW Brenden Morrow (neck/shoulder) are out.

About the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks (33-21-7) won their fourth straight game, defeating Detroit 2-1 at United Center on Tuesday. Corey Crawford stopped 31 shots and the Blackhawks got goals from Jimmy Hayes and Marcus Kruger.

The Blackhawks were without captain Jonathan Toews, who missed the game with an upper body injury.

"In 82 games, you're going to play without some players on any given night," Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said. "Losing him was big, but we rallied around each other and all stepped up."

Toews will not play Thursday against the Stars.

Injuries: D Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) is probable. C Jonathan Toews (upper body), LW Daniel Carcillo (knee) and D Steve Montador (upper body) are out.

Series notes

*This is third of four meetings between the two teams.

*The two teams haven’t played since they split a back-to-back to open the season.

*Both teams are 1-1-0 in the season series.

*October 7, at Dallas: Stars 2, Blackhawks 1
*October 8, at Chicago: Blackhawks 5, Stars 2

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 5-5-2 since the All-Star break.

*The Blackhawks are 4-6-1 since the break.

*The Stars are 13-14 on the penalty kill over their last four games.

*The Blackhawks are 0-30 on the power over the last 11 games.

*The Blackhawks are 15-16 on the penalty kill over the last six games.

*Chicago has allowed three goals over the last three games.

*Thursday’s game at Chicago and Friday’s game vs. Minnesota in Dallas will be the Stars’ 12th back-to-back set of the season. They are 5-4-2 in first games of back-to-backs this season and 0-9-2 in second games.

Stars-Blackhawks photos

March, 18, 2011
Here are some photos of last night's Dallas Stars-Chicago Blackhawks game. You can see all the photos by Shannon Byrne here or by clicking below on the image of Steve Ott scoring on Corey Crawford.

#29 Steve Ott shoots and scores on  #50 Corey Crawford on a breakaway.

Stars rout Blackhawks, 5-0

March, 17, 2011

The Dallas Stars snapped a two-game losing streak with an impressive 5-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at American Airlines Center on Thursday night.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 23 shots for his second shutout in the last four games. Jamie Benn and Brenden Morrow each had a goal and an assist. Steve Ott, Jason Williams and Brandon Segal also scored goals. Mike Ribeiro and Brad Richards had two assists each.

The Stars improved to 2-2-1 on their current homestand, which continues Saturday when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers.


“We were really pleased with the way everybody pitched in defensively. I thought you look at key elements in our game tonight where we need to have big performances from our defense, our penalty killing and our goaltender, and we got all of those things. … Our penalty killing, I think that was probably the strongest penalty kill game we’ve had this year and it was a difference maker.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford

“Everybody was certainly ready. We had lost two in a row at home. We really wanted to win, play the right way, do the little things right and be responsible especially in our own end. I think that showed today.” – Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen.

“From here on out – the next 11 games - we could probably say that every time we win that it’s the biggest win. This was good for our locker room because it this is a little bit how it feels when you are in a series. You lose a couple heartbreakers and you are still right in it. You’ve got to get right back on the horse and win a big one.“ – Stars forward Brad Richards


*Stars won the season series against Chicago with a 3-1-0 record. Chicago had a 1-2-1 mark in the three games.

*Kari Lehtonen’s shutout was his second of the season and his second in the last four games.

*Lehtonen picked up his sixth assist in the season in the game, setting a new franchise mark for assists by a goaltender in a season. Lehtonen had been tied with Marty (2008-09) and Ed Belfour (2001-02), who had five assists in a season.

*Jamie Benn ran his points streak to nine games (8 goals, 5 assists) .

*Mike Ribeiro has 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists) in the last 14 games.

*Steve Ott’s goal was his first since February 9 and snapped a 16-game goal scoring drought.

*The Stars won on St. Patrick’s Day for the first time since March 17, 1998 (4-3 vs. Los Angeles).

First period

The Stars scored the only goal of the period with 2:23 left. After Kari Lehtonen made a save on Michael Frolik, Brad Richards got to the rebound and set up Steve Ott on a breakaway with a long backhand pass, and Ott beat Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford with a wrist shot. Lehtonen picked up an assist on the goal, giving him six on the season which established a new franchise record.

The Blackhawks outshot the Stars 11-8 in the period. Both teams had one power play chance and both were 0-1.

Stars forward Brandon Segal and Blackhawks forward Jake Dowell dropped the gloves late in the period and both picked up fighting majors.

Mark Fistric and Krys Barch were scratched for the Stars. Loui Eriksson (upper body) and Adam Burish (lower body) are out.

Second period

The Stars made it a 2-0 game at 1:01 of the second period. After Brenden Morrow blocked a shot the Stars got a two-on-one and Mike Ribeiro set up Jamie Benn, who blasted the puck past Corey Crawford from the right circle.

The Stars made it 3-0 at the 3:35 mark with a goal off the rush. Benn sent a cross-ice pass to Morrow, who scored off a one-timer from the right circle. That was it for Crawford, who gave up three goals on ten shots. In came backup Marty Turco.

The Blackhawks got a 4:00 power play with 12:33 left in the second when Tomas Vincour took a double minor for high sticking, but Chicago couldn’t take advantage. Blackhawks defenseman negated 2:00 of the power play when he took a charging penalty and the Stars were able to kill off the rest of the time to keep it a 3-0 game.

Steve Ott got his second breakaway of the game late in the period, but couldn’t cash in on this one as Turco made a sharp glove save to keep it a 3-0 game with 2:15 left in the second.

The Stars almost 4-0 just as time was expiring, but Alex Goligoski’s shot hit the post.

Third period

The Stars extended the lead to 4-0 at the 2:54 mark of the third period. After Turco came out of the net, he turned it to Stars forward Jason Williams and Williams put it into the open net as Turco tried scramble back into position.

Just after a Dallas power play expired Brandon Segal, recalled earlier in the day from the AHL, scored off a scramble in front of the net to give the Stars a 5-0 lead at the 11:52 mark.

Stars lineup



Raycroft (backup)

Injured: Eriksson (upper body), Burish (lower body)

Scratches: Barch, Fistric

Power play units


Penalty kill units

The bottom line on Friday’s game between the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks at American Airlines Center is that there are crucial points up for grabs in the Western Conference playoff race. But this game comes with a sidebar story and it’s a great one as ex-Stars goaltender Marty Turco will make his first start against his former team.

"Pretty excited about it," Turco told ESPNChicago.com. "My family is going to come on down, and we'll see some old friends. It's not that far removed.”

It’s been almost ten months since Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk announced that the Stars would not re-sign Turco, who had been with Dallas nine seasons and had been the team’s No. 1 goalie for seven. The Stars, Nieuwendyk said, were heading in a different direction in net with Kari Lehtonen, acquired prior to last season’s trade deadline.

Turco signed with the Chicago over the summer and it’s been a bumpy ride in the Windy City. He’s 11-11-2 with a 3.10 goals against average and a .896 save percentage. He has started in only three of the last 15 games and is now backing up Corey Crawford, who is the No. 1 guy right now.

But Friday night Turco will take center stage in Dallas, where he holds most of the franchise’s regular season goaltending records.

"It was a great time in my life," Turco told ESPNChicago.com. "As the game day goes on, I'll get a little more excited and anxious. But come drop of the puck I'm not staring at faces, I'm staring at that little blacking thing out there and trying to give this team a chance to win. It's going to be a fun time and something that's going to be quite memorable. It's the first time I've done something like this in my career."

It’s going to be different for his former teammates as well. Stars captain Brenden Morrow and Turco were teammates from 2000-01 through last season.

“It will be tough on my calves. He’s pretty good with the stick,” Morrow said with a smile. “It will be different. Ten years or so together and everything we went through together. It will be a little weird.”

Morrow and Turco weren’t just teammates, they were close friends as well.

“Car pool, roommates, all that kind of stuff,” said Morrow. “We saw a lot of each other over the years.”

Stars forward Steve Ott and Turco first became teammates in Dallas during the 2002-03 season, Turco’s first campaign as the team’s No. 1 goalie.

"It's going to be exciting. When you get to play against a friend and compete against a friend on a different level it definitely makes it exciting,” said Ott. “Like a brotherly rivalry, you always want to beat your brother or your friend. I know he's going be pumped and pretty amped up, so we're going to have to show our 'A' game because he is definitely going to want to be a spoiler.”

Both teams will need their ‘A’ game because of the importance of the points at stake and their importance in the playoff race.

Chicago is 2-4-0 in its last six games and currently sits in 11th place in the Western Conference, three points out of a playoff spot.

“The only important thing are those two points for us,” said Turco. “Just look at the Western Conference standings. It’s incredible how tight they are and the disservice we’ve done ourselves by getting behind and out of the playoff picture. “

The Stars are 0-3-1 since the All-Star break and 1-5-1 over their last seven games. That slide has allowed teams to gain ground on them in the playoff race. Over the seven-game slide, their lead in the Pacific Division has gone from six points to zero and their lead over ninth place in West has been carved from ten points to five.

“We’ve got to concentrate on finding a way to win. It’s always a big game when players come back to their former building and I am sure for Marty it will be a huge, emotional game,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “For us, it doesn’t change what our focus needs to be. It’s just another added element to maybe shape our focus and again to reassert to our people how important it is that we do the things that make us successful.

“Marty was a big part of this franchise and a big part of the success that it had for the time that he was here. He was not only a good Dallas Star, but he was also really good in the community. Those things are appreciated and I am sure Marty will be appreciated [Friday] night. It doesn’t change the fact that we need two points and we need to beat those guys.”

Turco’s Dallas highlights

Here are some of the highlights of Marty Turco’s career in Dallas.
  • Stars career leader in wins (262, shutouts (40) and games (509)
  • Ranks third in career goals against average (2.31)
  • Holds record for career assists by a Stars goaltender (22)
  • Posted six straight 30-win seasons from 2002-03 through 2008-09
  • Set franchise mark with 74 games played in 2008-09
  • Tied NHL record with three shutouts in a playoff series (2007 vs. Vancouver)
  • Set a franchise record 165:45 scoreless streak in 2007 playoffs
  • Set franchise records for wins in a season (41) in 2005-06
  • Set the franchise mark for the longest unbeaten streak by a goaltender (16) in 2002-03
  • Posted the best goals against average in league history since WW II in 2002-03 (1.72)
  • Had a .932 save percentage in 2002-03, the second best since the stat was introduced (1976-77)
  • Finished second in 2002-03 Vezina Trophy voting in his first year as an NHL starter

Special teams key for Stars

January, 6, 2011
Early in the season the Dallas Stars’ power play on the road wasn’t doing them many favors. It’s been coming around lately, and Wednesday night it helped them secure a big two points in Chicago.

The Stars scored three times on the power play, including a Mike Ribeiro goal that snapped a 2-2 tie midway through the third period and held up as the game-winner in a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.

The Stars’ power play, which was 2-42 in the first 13 road games of the season, has picked up the pace away from home recently. It has tallied in six of the last seven road games and is 8-31 (25.8%) during that stretch. It was 3-3 on this night.

“We struggled at the beginning of the season, but we’ve been doing better things lately,” Ribeiro told reporters after the game. “We moved the puck well today. A bounce here or there and we score.”

Ribeiro’s game-winner, which came with 9:14 remaining, was an attempted pass to captain Brenden Morrow that bounced off Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford.

The Stars used the power play to build a 2-0 lead in the first period. Morrow scored off a rebound 2:40 into the game to give the Stars a 1-0 lead, and less than five minutes later Ribeiro tipped a Brad Richards point shot into the net to make it a 2-0 game.

“Power plays were the difference tonight,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “Our power play was performing almost perfectly. We entered the zone extremely well, we got a couple of pucks to the net with people around it and made a couple of bang-bang plays. Those sorts of things happen. It does put a team on its heels and it was an important start.”

Chicago bounced back in the second, scoring two goals in a 2:08 span to tie the game. It was almost three goals in a 3:18 span but a Viktor Stalberg penalty shot attempt rang off the right post, the crossbar and then the left post before bouncing out.

“It was a great shot,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “It would have been a great stretch there.”

But the game remained tied. The Stars penalty kill, which was 4-4 against Chicago’s top ranked power play, killed off two Chicago chances with the man-advantage early in the third period before Ribeiro notched the game-winner.

The Dallas penalty kill had to deliver again in the final two minutes. Lehtonen, who made 35 saves in the game, came up with a big stop and Steve Ott scored a shorthanded goal into an empty net to seal the win, the sixth straight on the road for the Stars.

“These were big points. Our special teams were the difference. Our goalie made a big save late they could have tied it up,” said Morrow. “It does feel good. We had two big games at home and lost them before these two on the road. These have been big character games for us.”

Notes: Stars lose Skrastins, Niskanen

*The Dallas Stars played the entire third period with just four defensemen. Karlis Skrastins and Matt Niskanen did not play the final 20 minutes after they collided during warm-ups for the third period. Niskanen suffered a broken nose and chipped teeth. Skrastins was dazed after the collision. Both players will be re-evaluated on Thursday.

*Forward Toby Petersen sat out the game due to what was described as lower body soreness.

*Mark Fistric was a healthy scratch on defense.

Stars make it six straight road wins

January, 5, 2011
The Dallas Stars made it six straight wins on the road, beating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 at the United Center on Wednesday night.

Mike Ribeiro scored two power-play goals, including the game-winner with 9:46 remaining. The Stars were 3-3 on the power play in the game and were 4-4 on the penalty kill against the top ranked Chicago power play.

Brenden Morrow also scored on the power play, and Steve Ott scored an empty net shorthanded goal to seal the win. Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson each had two assists. Kari Lehtonen made 35 saves for the Stars, who hit the halfway point of the season with a 24-13-4 record for 52 points.

First period

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen came up with a big save early, stopping a wide open Marian Hossa from the bottom of the right faceoff circle just 1:19 into the game.

The Stars struck early in the game, cashing in on their first two power plays -- both drawn by Tom Wandell -- to build their lead.

The Stars went on the first power play at the 2:00 mark and it took them 40 seconds to take advantage. After a Matt Niskanen blast from the point, Loui Eriksson’s rebound attempt bounced off Brenden Morrow and Morrow gathered up the puck and it put past Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.

The Stars went on power play number two at the 6:34 mark and they scored when Brad Richards’ shot from the point bounced off Mike Ribeiro and into the net at the 7:26 mark.

Lehtonen, who had 12 saves in the period, had another big stop on Jonathan Toews later in the period to keep it a 2-0 game.

Toby Petersen was out for the Stars due to lower body soreness. Mark Fistric was a healthy scratch on defense.

Second period

The second period belonged to the Chicago Blackhawks, who outshot the Stars 15-5 and scored twice to tie the game at 2-2.

After the Stars killed off a Chicago power play early in the period and Kari Lehtonen made a big stop on Jonathan Toews, the Blackhawks finally broke through at the 9:35 mark. Fernando Pisani scored off the rush, firing a shot from the high slot that bounced off Lehtonen’s glove and into the net.

Chicago tied the game just 2:08 later when Tomas Kopecky took a pass from Patrick Kane, put a shot on net and then scored off his own rebound.

The Blackhawks had a chance to take the lead when Viktor Stalberg was awarded a penalty shot 1:10 after the Kopecky goal, but Stalberg’s backhand shot rang off all three posts.

Third period

The Stars killed off two Chicago power plays in the third period before going on their third of the game and scoring for the third time to take a 3-2 lead.

Mike Ribeiro’s attempted centering pass hit Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and went past Corey Crawford at the 10:46 mark.

Chicago had some chances late in the game. A Patrick Sharp shot trickled near the goal line, but Kari Lehtonen swatted it away.

The Blackhawks got a power play with 2:02 remaining, pulled Crawford to make it a 6-4 advantage. Lehtonen made a big glove stop on Patrick Kane and then with just over one minute left Steve Ott scored a shorthanded empty net goal to make it a 4-2 game and seal the win.

The Stars played the third period without defensemen Matt Niskanen and Karlis Skrastins, who both left the game after colliding during warmups for the third period.

Turco won't start tonight for Chicago

January, 5, 2011
The word out of Chicago this morning is that Corey Crawford, not Marty Turco, will get the start in goal for the Chicago Blackhawks tonight as they take on the Dallas Stars at the United Center.

This will be the second straight time that Turco will not get a chance to face his former teammates when the Stars and Blackhawks meet. There are still more meetings this season, both of them in Dallas.

Crawford has started 14 of the last 18 games for Chicago and he sat out three games in that stretch while battling the flu.

Turco has had some ups and downs recently. He played well in two of his last three games, but over his last seven starts, he is 1-5-0 with a 4.19 goals against average and a .860 save percentage. For the season he is 9-10-2, 3.02 goals against average and a .899 save percentage.

Crawford, on the other hand, is 12-7-1, with a 2.33 GAA and a .914 save percentage.

Marty Turco won't sulk over not starting

December, 8, 2010
ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun has a good story on Marty Turco not getting the start in tonight's game against the Chicago Blackhawks. It begins:
Marty Turco won't get to start against his old team Wednesday night, but don't go sniffing for a big story from the veteran netminder.

"I'd be doing the same thing if I were [coach] Joel Quenneville. I am fine with it," Turco told ESPN.com on Tuesday.

Youngster Corey Crawford will try for his seventh straight win in the Blackhawks' net when the Dallas Stars visit the United Center, and while Turco can't wait to face his former team, it'll have to wait. The Blackhawks have three more games against the Stars, including a first game back to Dallas on Feb. 11. Now that one would be special.

"The first return to Dallas, that's the one you circle," Turco said.

The rest of the story is here.
The word out of Chicago today is that Corey Crawford, not Marty Turco, will start in goal against the Dallas Stars when they take on the Blackhawks at the United Center.

Crawford has started five of the last seven games for the Blackhawks and won all of them. In fact, he's won his last six starts. Crawford is 7-4-0 on the season with a 2.34 goals against average and .914 save percentage.

“He’s playing well and he’s got a little bit of a roll going,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said in telling the media about the decision to go with Crawford. “We want to keep it going.”

Said Turco: “The guy is playing well, he’s hot and he’s winning when he is in there. What else can you say? I don’t have a problem with that."

Turco, who has allowed 14 goals in losing his last three starts, is 8-8-2 on the season with a 2.90 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.

ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers has more on the decision to play Crawford over Turco here.

One other note for Chicago, the Blackhawks say that Patrick Kane is out three weeks with a lower body injury