Dallas Stars: Jonathan Toews

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.

Selke Trophy finalists

April, 27, 2011
Pavel Datsyuk, Ryan Kesler and Jonathan Toews are this year's Selke Trophy finalists. Here's the release from the league:
Centers Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks are the three finalists for the 2010-11 Frank Selke Trophy, which is awarded "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game," the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Selke Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22, during the 2011 NHL Awards from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas. The 2011 NHL Awards will be broadcast by VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.

Following are the finalists for the Selke Trophy, in alphabetical order:

Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

A master at getting and keeping the puck, Datsyuk ranked 11th in the League in takeaways with 71 despite being limited to 56 games due to injury. Datsyuk tied for second on the Red Wings in plus-minus with a +11 rating and was the club's top face-off man, posting a 54.6% winning percentage (429 of 785) -- his seventh consecutive season posting a win rate above 53%. Datsyuk could become the first player to win the Selke Trophy for four consecutive seasons since Bob Gainey of the Montreal Canadiens won it the first four seasons it was presented, from 1978 through 1981.

Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks

Kesler helped the Canucks record the lowest team goals-against average in the NHL (2.20) for the first time in franchise history. He ranked fourth among NHL forwards in blocked shots (80), appeared in all 82 games and averaged a career-high 20:29 in ice time to lead all Vancouver forwards. The speedy center ranked sixth among NHL centers in face-offs taken (1,496), winning a team-best and career-high 57.4% of them (859), dished out 124 hits; recorded a team-high 65 takeaways and posted a +24 rating. Kesler is a Selke Trophy finalist for the third consecutive year, finishing second in 2010 and third in 2009.

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Toews led all Chicago forwards in plus-minus and ranked second on the club overall with a career-high +25 rating. He took 1,653 face-offs, second in the NHL behind Carolina's Eric Staal (1,751), and won a League-leading 937 of them (56.7%). He recorded 95 takeaways, also second in the NHL behind San Jose's Joe Thornton (114), delivered 74 hits and blocked 28 shots. The Blackhawks captain, who turns 23 on Friday, is a first-time Selke finalist and a second-time NHL trophy finalist -- he finished third in Calder Trophy voting for the League's top rookie in 2008.

Loui's stellar weekend

January, 31, 2011
Stars forward Loui Eriksson was given the day off Monday since he had a busy few weekend at the NHL All-Star festivities in Raleigh, but he showed up at the team’s practice facility anyway.

Eriksson, who scored two goals and had two assists in Sunday’s NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, was the center of attention after practice, getting congratulations from his teammates and interview requests from the media.

“It was fun. I had a good time," Eriksson said about his All-Star experience. "It was my first time and I was excited to go and see all the players there. It was a fun two days. It was a fun game yesterday and we won.”

Eriksson played on a line with Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and Minnesota’s Martin Havlat. His four points were tied for the high in the game.

“Everyone can get a lot of points in a game like that. Like you saw, it was 11-10,” Eriksson said. “It was fun to play with Toews and Havlat. We were finding a little bit of chemistry and we got a few goals, so it was good.”

There were some people who thought Eriksson could have been the game’s MVP. Stars forward Steve Ott made that clear when he saw Eriksson after practice on Monday. Even the winner of the award, Chicago’s Patrick Sharp, mentioned Eriksson as someone who could have taken the honor. It didn’t seem to matter to Eriksson.

“There were a lot of good players on both teams, so anyone could get it,” he said.

During Friday night’s All-Star Fantasy Draft, Eriksson was taken 34th in the 36 player draft.

“It was tough there at the last moment,” he said. “At least I didn’t get picked last. But if I did I would get a car. It wouldn’t have mattered.”

There was more to Eriksson’s weekend than just his stellar performance in Raleigh. He was voted as the NHL’s most underrated player in a poll of 318 NHL players conducted by the NHLPA and CBC Sports.

“It’s nice to have that from the guys in the league,” Eriksson said. “It’s nothing I really think about. I am just trying to go out there and do my best. It was nice to get the votes for that.”

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.