DALLAS – Corey Crawford will start and the rest of the Blackhawks lineup remains the same when they face the Dallas Stars Saturday night.
The last time the Blackhawks were in Dallas in December they were looking up, way up, at the Stars, who were comfortably atop the Central Division. That was more than a month ago for the Blackhawks, who, thanks to their 12-game winning streak in late December/January, now have a three-point lead atop the Central.
After getting off to a blazing start the Blackhawks hit a rough patch in January, winning just one of their four games entering the All-Star break. The Stars have righted things lately, winning their last three games.
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“Well, so far I think we’ve played some pretty good hockey coming out of the break,” Patrick Sharp said. “You look at an 82-game season, there are going to be tough stretches of whatever the reason may be. Hopefully we went through ours and we’re coming out of it now better for it.”
The Stars and Blackhawks played a competitive 40 minutes in their Dec. 22 meeting before the Stars dominated the final 20. While the Stars will be without Jason Spezza, who coach Lindy Ruff said is out week to week with an upper-body injury, Saturday's game will still be a big test for each team.
“It should be a heck of a game,” Ruff said. “Both teams are playing well. I looked at the last game it was a tight game until the third period and I think tonight is going to be a tight game unless someone can push through and get a little edge on someone.”