DALLAS – Corey Crawford will start his sixth consecutive game and the Blackhawks will stick with the same lineup as Thursday when they face the Dallas Stars Saturday night.
The Stars dominated the season series in 2015-16, winning four of five matchups. Each game was a lopsided affair, and the Stars were victorious four times due, in large part, to fast starts. The Blackhawks’ slow starts have been an issue this season, although they haven’t stopped them from four straight games. Still, the Blackhawks want to nip the bad habit now.
“We’ve been sloppy in certain areas, whether it’s clears, whether it’s in the puck area in our own zone at the start and it leads to chances and the momentum going their own way,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We have to find a way to get through it.”
Crawford has allowed just one goal in his last three starts.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
The Stars have dealt with several key injuries to start this season. That includes former Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp, who is sidelined with concussion-related issues. But the Stars got a big boost of confidence with their 6-2 victory over St. Louis on Thursday.
“We played better hockey the last two games before that, too, and didn’t get the results we wanted. We felt like that [St. Louis] game was kind of the step in the right direction,” said former Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya. “Obviously we’re back to .500 but we know we need to be better than that. So we have to keep pushing forward. Obviously two big games coming up this weekend.”
Meanwhile, there’s still a good chance forward Andrew Desjardins (lower body) returns to the Blackhawks’ lineup for Sunday’s game against the Stars. Quenneville wouldn’t say who could come out of the lineup for that game.
BLACKHAWKS AT DALLAS STARS
Radio: WGN 720 AM
Richard Panik-Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Marian Hossa
Ryan Hartman-Marcus Kruger-Tyler Motte
Dennis Rasmussen-Nick-Schmaltz-Jordin Tootoo
Duncan Keith-Brian Campbell
Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling-Niklas Hjalmarsson
INJURIES: Andrew Desjardins (lower body), Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body).
Dallas Stars (via Dallas Morning News)
Jamie Benn-Tyler Seguin-Patrick Eaves
Antoine Roussel-Radek Faksa-Jason Spezza
Lauri Korpikoski-Devin Shore-Brett Ritchie
Curtis McKenzie-Gemel Smith-Adam Cracknell
Esa Lindell-John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya-Stephen Johns
Dan Hamhuis-Jordie Benn
INJURIES: Jiri Hudler (illness), Patrick Sharp (concussion-like symptoms), Cody Eakin (knee), Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip)