Blackhawks slip to third place in Central with loss to Stars


Blackhawks slip to third place in Central with loss to Stars

DALLAS – Health-wise, the Blackhawks and Dallas Stars seem to be going in different directions. The Stars have lost a few recently while the Blackhawks just got Marian Hossa back.

But on Friday, the Stars looked nothing like a hurting squad.

Teuvo Teravainen scored his 11th goal of the season but Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin each scored as the Stars beat the Blackhawks 5-2 at American Airlines Center. With their loss and St. Louis’ victory over the Anaheim Ducks, the Blackhawks fall to third in the Central Division with 88 points. The Stars move into first with 90 points.

The Blackhawks were hoping to be better in a few areas, especially with their penalty kill. But once again the kill betrayed them, allowing two of the Stars’ five goals (Jason Spezza and Benn).

“Our special teams, that was probably as bad a night as we could have,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “You don’t even get a chance to get your feet under you to see how it’s going to look. We gave them that one on a platter and the next one was on a platter. But they have some great options; you don’t clear it, tough things happen.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans]

Corey Crawford was pulled midway through the second period after allowing four goals on 20 shots. Seguin’s goal was his 33rd of the season; the same goes for Benn. The Stars, who were missing former Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp, as well as defensemen Jason Demers, Jordie Benn and John Klingberg to injury, were nevertheless the better team.

Thus ended a two-game road trip on which the Blackhawks got just one point.

“It’s almost like that week [when] we were in Detroit then Boston, where I think we played well in the first game on the road. Obviously we didn’t get the result we wanted to in St. Louis, and we kind of had a drop-off the second game,” Jonathan Toews said. “Tonight was the same way and we ran into a team that was sitting here and ready for us and we didn’t have the speed and the work ethic in the battles in the corners that we needed. So eventually we ended up taking penalties and ended up hurting ourselves. We’ve got to be better than that.”

Tomas Fleischmann added a goal, his second since joining the Blackhawks, with 58.3 seconds remaining in regulation. The Blackhawks knew they had to be strong against a hungry, if injured, Stars team. They didn’t get the desired result. They’re obviously not in a serious predicament – just two points separate the first-place Stars from the third-place Blackhawks. But they know they have to get more of an effort than they did on Friday.

“Nobody’s panicking here,” Hossa said. “We have a great team here and we’re in a good spot. We just have to be better than we were tonight.”

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

After staying out of the public eye since his historic emergency relief appearance, Scott Foster emerged in Vegas at the NHL Awards and it was perfect. 

The 36-year-old accountant fittingly presented the Vezina Trophy award for the league's top goaltender and joked that he needed to speed it up because he had to get back to work.

Check him out on stage:

What a moment. And well done, NHL. 

Foster stopped all seven shots he faced in 14:01 of action in the Blackhawks' 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on March 30.

Nashville Predators netminder Pekke Rinne took home the award, but you can't argue against Foster's 1.000 career save percentage.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.