Short of the Carolina Hurricanes, the Dallas Stars are the strangest thorn in the paw of the Blackhawks there is.
Dallas is nothing special this season, with the Simple Rating System pitting them as the 22nd-best team in the NHL and the Stars currently sitting in the 10th spot in the West.
But don’t tell the Hawks, who have found astounding ways to lose to them twice in 2009-10 after a four-game sweep last season. To make matters worse, Dallas is coming off a big win, a 4-0 shutout over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday, in which netminder Marty Turco stopped 34 shots.
But the Blackhawks should solve the shooting Stars, coming off a win themselves and welcoming a weak (8-15-6) Dallas road team to the United Center. And while the Stars will be buoyed by the return of center Mike Ribeiro, in the last day they’ve lost both team plus-minus leader Mark Fistric to knee surgery and last game’s two-goal hero, Steve Ott, to an appendectomy.
Read Brett Ballantini's complete Hawks-Stars preview, including his Six-Pack of things to look for.