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Dallas
Stars
50-25-7
Chicago
Blackhawks
31-42-9

21 SOG
24 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
DAL
CHI
game preview

Stars-Blackhawks Preview

Tuesday, 12.26.2006 / 6:00 PM

Associated Press

Since Denis Savard took over as the Chicago Blackhawks' head coach, he's improved the team in several ways. One facet of their play still shows there's always room for improvement

Savard will be looking for more offense from his power-play unit when the Blackhawks meet the Dallas Stars at the United Center on Tuesday.

Chicago (15-15-5) has alternated wins and losses in its last four games, including a 3-2 loss to Colorado on Saturday. The Blackhawks went 0-for-5 with the man advantage, and are 0-for-15 overall in the last three games.

"We never recovered pucks and their zone time was good in there," Savard said. "When you don't spend time in their end, you're not going to score."

At home, the Blackhawks' power-play unit has been almost as bad, going 1-for-40 with the extra man since Savard took over for the fired Trent Yawney on Nov. 27. Chicago has the second fewest power-play goals this season (19), just one ahead of St. Louis.

Despite the loss, the Hawks improved to 8-3-3 under Savard.

Two days after replacing Yawney, the Hall of Famer had a successful head coaching debut with a 2-1 win over Dallas, ending a 15-game winless streak against the Stars. Chicago has not beaten Dallas twice in one season since the 1995-96 season when it won four in a row.

Nikolai Khabibulin made 19 saves in the loss. Though he's alternated wins and losses in seven home starts this month, Khabibulin is 4-2-1 with a 1.56 goals-against average, and has three goals just once during that stretch.

He likely will be opposed by Marty Turco, who has seven wins - including three shutouts - this month. Turco made 20 saves in a 3-2 win over Edmonton on Saturday.

Dallas got goals from Jon Klemm, Jere Lehtinen and Philippe Boucher, and two assists from Eric Lindros. Klemm, who was shifted from defense to right wing, also had an assist for his first two points of the season.

"I'm not out there for my speed," Klemm said with a laugh. "I've played the wing earlier in my career, in '96 for Colorado, so it's not something new for me."

Boucher has points in nine of 11 games this month, and is tied with Montreal's Sheldon Souray for the league goal-scoring lead among defensemen with 12.

Mike Modano, the Stars' all-time leading scorer, missed his ninth straight game with a hip flexor injury.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 08 '07CHI 2 at DAL 3M. Modano
Dec 26 '06DAL 1 at CHI 2M. Lapointe
Nov 29 '06DAL 1 at CHI 2T. Ruutu
Oct 20 '06CHI 4 at DAL 5P. Boucher
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%