Series (Game 4 of 4)

Dallas leads 4-0

Game 1: Sunday, December 15th
Game 2: Thursday, January 9th
Game 3: Sunday, February 23rd
Game 4: Wednesday, March 5th

Blackhawks 4

(24-28-5, 63 pts)

Stars 7

(37-13-2, 91 pts)

9:00 PM ET, March 5, 2003

American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

1 2 3 T
CHI 1 1 24
DAL 1 3 37

P. Boucher (Stars - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Lehtinen (Stars - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

S. Ott (Stars - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Stars move one point ahead of idle Sens

DALLAS (AP) -- Although Dallas grabbed the lead in the race for the Presidents' Trophy with a 7-4 victory Wednesday night over hapless Chicago, Stars coach Dave Tippett wasn't happy. "Some wins are pretty, some are pretty ugly. This was pretty ugly,'' Tippett said. "That was a sloppy, ugly hockey game, but we'll take the two points and run.'' Phillippe Boucher scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and Jere Lehtinen extended his career-best goal-scoring streak to five games as the Stars moved a point ahead of idle Ottawa. The team with the most regular-season points is guaranteed home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The Stars also got goals from Claude Lemieux, Mike Modano, Scott Young, Niko Kapanen and rookie Steve Ott as they matched their highest scoring game of the season. But Dallas goaltender Ron Tugnutt allowed four goals in 25 shots while Chicago's Steve Passmore gave up seven on 28 shots. "There was average goaltending on both sides,'' Tippett said. "It was 5-4 and neither team had gotten to 20 shots yet.'' Sergei Berezin had two goals for the Blackhawks, winless in their last eight (0-6-0-2) games. Chris Simon and Mark Bell also scored for Chicago which finished 0-4 against Dallas. Dallas is 3-1-3-1 in its last eight games and 23-3-6-1 at American Airlines Center, the best home start in franchise history. The win enabled the Stars to surpass last season's victory and points totals. In 67 games, Dallas has 37 victories. The Stars had 90 points and 36 wins in 82 games last season, when they failed to make the playoffs. Berezin scored two goals over a span of 41 seconds early in the third period to pull the Blackhawks into a 4-all tie. But Boucher converted Pierre Turgeon's cross-ice pass from the left circle with 14:24 remaining to put the Stars ahead for good. Young's goal with 6:45 left and Kapanen's with 2:43 to play closed out the Blackhawks. "The only positive of this game is that we got two points and found a way to win,'' Boucher said. "You don't want to have to win games like that.'' With the game tied at 2, Modano scored his 27th goal on a power-play rebound at 8:49 of the second period. Lemieux's goal at 16:40 made it 4-2. Passmore was caught out of position when he roamed to the right circle to play the puck, and he was unable to scramble back into position in time to stop Lemieux's rebound of Kirk Muller's wraparound. "I'd love to have an excuse on that one but I don't,'' Passmore said. "I just didn't shoot it hard enough. "That goes on my shoulders. It's very frustrating right now. We scored four goals and that's got to be enough. Personally I let my teammates down and my coaches. I'm disgusted.'' Berezin brought the Blackhawks back with his 17th and 18th goals, scoring on a rebound at 1:09 of the third period, then connecting from the left circle at 1:50 to tie it. That was the night's highlight for the fading Blackhawks. "If we could have held on to the tie, maybe we could have taken something out of it,'' Berezin said. Simon gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead at 6:56 of the opening period, but the Stars tied it at 1 at 12:23 of the first period on Ott's second career goal. Bell's 11th goal, on a deflection 54 seconds into the second period, put Chicago in front 2-1, but Lehtinen responded 21 seconds later with his career-high 28th to tie it at 2.

Game notes

Blackhawks LW Eric Daze missed his fourth straight game with an infected right foot. ...LW Brenden Morrow was back in the Dallas lineup after missing nine straight games due to a rib injury. ...Muller had two assists to give him 600 for his career. Muller broke a drought of 28 games without a point. ...Dallas has power- play goals in seven straight games, longest streak of the season. ...The Stars had a season-high 13 players with at least one point.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press