Dallas (34-15-5) at Chicago (36-17-4)
When: Thursday, February 11th 2016
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
Time: 8:35 ET | TV: FSN Southwest, CSN Chicago
The Dallas Stars look to get closer to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central Division when the two teams meet on Thursday night. The Stars got off to a hot start this season, but were overtaken by the Blackhawks after sputtering to begin the new year. Dallas sits three points behind Chicago, but has played three less games than the Blackhawks. The Stars have won four of their last five with the lone loss coming last Saturday at home against the Blackhawks. Tyler Seguin scored the only goal in that game and now has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in his last four games. He had two assists in Dallas’ 4-3 overtime win over Minnesota on Tuesday. Defenseman John Klingberg scored the OT winner for the third time this season and has three goals and an assist in his last four contests. Former Blackhawk goalie Antti Niemi, who could get the start on Thursday, has been idle since he yielded three goals on 11 shots in the first period of Saturday’s loss to Chicago. Dallas has now won three games in a row on the road – two in overtime.
The Blackhawks completed a stretch of seven road games in eight contests at 5-3, but fell in their latest home game 2-0 to San Jose. It was just the fourth time in 20 games that Chicago has lost and they will look to put some distance between them and Dallas with a win tonight. The loss also ended a seven-game home winning streak at the United Center. Artem Anisimov recorded his second career four-point performance after collecting a goal and three assists in Saturday’s game against Dallas. Artemi Panarin set up a pair of goals against the Stars to lead all rookies with 52 points, but is questionable to play on Thursday after an illness forced him to miss the game with San Jose. Patrick Kane, who leads the league in goals (32) and points (76), scored in the last meeting versus Dallas and has 43 points (18 goals, 25 assists) in 32 career meetings. Chicago RW Marian Hossa has scored twice in his last three games and is four goals shy of 500 for his career. Corey Crawford (31-12-2) stopped 36-of-37 shots against Dallas on Saturday.
Goaltending has been an issue all season for Dallas and it keeps me from betting on them too much despite a great offense. Chicago has been great at home and head coach Joel Quenneville’s rant against the officials after the San Jose loss could spark the team tonight.
Pick: Blackhawks -133