DALLAS (Ticker) - The Chicago Blackhawks try to continue their
surprising start when they visit the Dallas Stars, who also have
commenced their campaign in fine fashion, on Friday.
Chicago comes off two straight victories, the latest a tight 2-1
triumph over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. Bryan
Smolinski scored the game-winning goal just two minutes into the
third period to lift the Blackhawks, who received 28 saves from
The Blackhawks have failed to qualify for the postseason in
seven of the last eight seasons, and many do not have high
expectations of them again this campaign. However, Chicago
already has a chance to match last season's high of three
A big reason for Chicago's improvement is goal production. The
Blackhawks have scored 25 goals already after scoring only 209
last season, the second-lowest total in the NHL.
Chicago's power play started hot but has cooled off lately.
Despite the slowdown, the Blackhawks still are a respectable
7-for-36 (19.4 percent).
The Stars return home after a solid West Coast road trip in
which they went 3-1-0. However, Dallas ended the trip on a sour
note when it dropped a 2-0 decision to the San Jose Sharks on
Dallas outshot San Jose, 32-23, but failed to convert any of
their five power-play opportunities.