DALLAS – Patrick Sharp scored plenty of goals during his time with the Blackhawks. On Tuesday he got a one against them.
Sharp scored his 12th goal of the season against his former team and added an assist as the Dallas Stars beat the Blackhawks 4-0 at American Airlines Center. It was just the Blackhawks’ third loss in their last 10 games, and they’ll head into the Christmas break at 20-12-4.
Jason Spezza and Colton Sceviour also scored for the Stars, who head into the break atop the Central Division with 54 points. Johnny Oduya added a secondary assist for the Stars.
Corey Crawford allowed four goals on 32 shots.
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The Blackhawks and Stars were locked in a close game through the first two periods, with Spezza’s power-play goal midway through the second being the difference. But in the third period, the Stars broke things open. Sharp’s goal came just 11 seconds into that period and it seemed to ignite the Stars.
“It was a tough way to start the third period,” Brent Seabrook said. “They have a good team over there. They have a lot of explosive players and a lot of guys who can make plays quick.”
At the same time, the Blackhawks suddenly looked deflated. They were outshot 17-3 in the third, putting up no fight against a Stars team that scored three in the third period. Colton Sceviour scored less than three minutes after Sharp and Mattias Janmark added another late in the third to make what was once a close game a lopsided one.
“They scored right off the bat [in the third.] Then, whether [or not] they opened us up, all of a sudden we were trying to press,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We didn’t have the puck much at all. We chased it around the whole period.”
Considering how this one started, it looked like it would be a low-scoring one despite the offense both teams possess. The Blackhawks had two power plays early, and while the advantage has been a boon to them most of this season, it was not on Tuesday night. They didn’t get a shot on either power play.
“Yeah, I think if you create more offense early in the game, it at least gives your team confidence, it gives you momentum, it gives you energy, and we didn’t quite get it the way we needed it after those power plays,” Jonathan Toews said. “Even if you don’t score, if you generate some chances, some shots, it still gives your team some energy. We didn’t get a whole lot of that off those two power plays.”
The Blackhawks didn’t get much of anything on Tuesday night, especially in that third period. They’ve wrapped up a pretty decent first portion of their schedule heading into the Christmas break. They’re starting to get some chemistry in their lines. Crawford, outside of Tuesday’s outing, has been strong. But a lot of the good things they’ve been building up were missing on Tuesday against some of their former teammates.
“There have been a lot of points and found ourselves moving up some spots in the standings,” Seabrook said. “But this is a tough one to start the break with.”