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PREVIEW: Blackhawks vs. Stars - April 8, 2021

Chicago closes out home-heavy slate with meeting against Dallas at the United Center

by Carter Baum @CarterBaum /

TIME: 7 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH   RADIO: WGN 720-AM / TUDN 1200-AM  |  STREAM: NHL.TV & MyTeamsApp

The Blackhawks and Stars meet again on Thursday night at the United Center in another pivotal Central Division clash as Chicago closes out a home-heavy stretch of late March and early April. 


CHI: 18-17-5, 41 PTS
DAL: 13-14-10, 36 PTS


Chicago raced out to a 3-0 lead over Dallas on Tuesday night on the back of goals from Kirby Dach, Dominik Kubalik and Alex DeBrincat before the Stars struck twice in the third to make it a game late. Patrick Kane scored an empty netter in the final seconds for a 4-2 victory with Kevin Lankinen making 25 saves.


The race for the fourth and final playoff spot in the division is on with Nashville (43 pts.), Chicago (41 pts.), Columbus (38 pts.) and Dallas (36 pts.) in a dead heat for a postseason berth. Nashville and Chicago are level on games with 40 apiece, while Columbus has 41 played and Dallas just 37. 

Following an important head-to-head matchup agasinst Dallas, who holds three games in hand, Chicago plays a two-game set against Columbus beginning Saturday night in Ohio and then a three-game set against Nashville beginning on April 19. A two-game slate with the Red Wings late next week divides the two playoff-implicated series. 


Chicago has won four of their five matchups against Dallas during the 2020-21 season is are 7-2-1 against the Stars over the last 10 matchups at the United Center.

Kevin Lankinen is 3-0-0 with a .946 save percentage, 1.65 goals-against average and has an assist against Dallas this year. Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks in assists and points (1G 5A), while Alex DeBrincat paces the team with four markers against the Stars. Kane's 30 career markers against Dallas are his most against any NHL opponent.


Connor Murphy had an assist, four hits and paced the club with six blocked shots against the Stars on Tuesday. He has now has five helpers over his last eight games.

It was the third time this season he has blocked six or more shots in a game and is fifth in the league with 83 blocks this year. He has three or more hits in seven of his last eight skates.


Kane picked up a goal and an assist on Tuesday night, the third multi-point effort of the season against the Stars and 15th multi-point game overall.

With 51 points this season, Kane matched Bobby Hull (14 times) for the second most 50-point seasons in franchise history (Stan Mikita; 18 times). His 51 points and 36 helpers are third in the league during the 2020-21 campaign.

His current 22:15 of average TOI per game is third in the league among forwards and is the second highest total of his career (22:29 during the 2018-19 season).


DeBrincat registered his 10th multi-point game of the year with a goal and an assist against Dallas on Tuesday. The goal was his 20th of the year in just his 36th game. During the 2018-19 season when he scored a career-high 41 markers, he required 45 games to reach 20 goals. 

He is the fourth player in the NHL to reach the 20-goal plateau this year. Since he returned to the lineup on Feb. 2 after being removed from COVID-19 protocol, DeBrincat is second in the league with 18 goals and shares 12th with 32 points.

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