STARS (12-9-4) at BLACKHAWKS (20-4-4)
TV: NBCSN, TSN2, CSN-CH
Last 10: Dallas 5-3-2; Chicago 8-2-0
Season series: The Chicago Blackhawks won the first two of five games against the Dallas Stars, each on the road, including a 2-1 victory Nov. 29 in a shootout that lasted 11 rounds. This will be one of two games between the new Central Division rivals held at United Center.
Big story: The Stars lost again in a shootout Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers at American Airlines Center, dropping to 1-2-2 in their past five games. They played without forward Tyler Seguin, who sat out with concussion-like symptoms. The Blackhawks went 6-1-0 on their annual seven-game "Circus Trip" road swing.
Stars: Seguin is day-to-day with concussion-like symptoms and will make the trip to Chicago. Forward Ryan Garbutt scored a pair of goals against Edmonton to help make up for Seguin's absence, but the Stars still failed to gain the extra point after dropping to 3-3 in shootouts.
"It's obviously pretty important to have good shootouts, but I think that's something we need to work on as a team," Garbutt told the team website after the game. "We've had [Rich Peverley] score goals in the last two, but we have to have more guys stepping up when they get the opportunity."
Blackhawks: Chicago usually has some issues to overcome following its first long road trip of the season, which happens every November when the circus takes over United Center. Not this time. The Blackhawks look like the team that buzzed through the Western Conference last season on its way to winning a second Stanley Cup championship in four years.
Patrick Kane is producing like he did a season ago, with 16 goals and 14 assists. He finished with a goal and assist in the last game of the trip, a 5-2 win Saturday night against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.
"It's a long time to be away from home, but we heard it's the best 'Circus Trip' in the history of the Hawks," Kane said. "If you told us before the trip that we'd be [6-1-0], I think we'd all be happy with that. We didn't start off the way we wanted to [with a loss against the Colorado Avalanche] but it definitely finished the way we wanted to."
Who's hot: Garbutt has three goals and two assists in the past three games for Dallas. … Kane, who had a 12-game point streak snapped in the most recent game against the Stars, has nine goals and 10 assists in the past 15 games.
Injury report: The Stars are without veteran defenseman Stephane Robidas for an estimated four months after he fractured his leg in the prior game against the Blackhawks. … Defenseman Michael Kostka (foot), goalie Nikolai Khabibulin (lower body) and forward Bryan Bickell (lower body) are injured for the Blackhawks. Forward Michal Handzus (illness) is likely out.
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