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At the Rink: Blackhawks at Stars

by Steve Hunt

DALLAS -- When the Chicago Blackhawks face the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, FS-SW+), Stars defenseman Johnny Oduya and forward Patrick Sharp will play against their former team for the first time since coming to Dallas during the offseason.

"I honestly think it is just another game. It'll be a little different because it's the first time I've played against my former team, but being in the Central Division, you look way down the line," Sharp said. "We're going to play these guys quite a bit, so any thoughts or feelings or emotions I have about playing my friends and my former teammates are going to be gone quickly because we're going to see each other quite a bit down the stretch."

Oduya, who has four assists and 12 points in 34 games, was part of Chicago's Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2013 and 2015 and signed with the Stars as a free agent last summer. Sharp, who has 11 goals and 25 points, played on all three of the Blackhawks' recent Cup winners (2010, 2013, 2015) and came to Dallas with minor league defenseman Stephen Johns in a summer trade for defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt.

"[Sharp] was here for three Cups, it doesn't get any better than that," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "He was a big part of the leadership group and it'll always be right in the memory book that he was a part of something special."

Chicago (20-11-4) defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in overtime on Sunday at United Center. Dallas (25-7-2), which has the second-best record in the NHL, won 6-3 at the Minnesota Wild on Monday in the front end of a back-to-back.

Blackhawks right wing Andrew Shaw was not on the ice for morning skate Tuesday. Defenseman David Rundblad filled in on the second line alongside left wing Teuvo Teravainen and center Jonathan Toews.

However, Quenneville said Shaw, who missed the skate to rest, is fine and will play.

Quenneville is keeping his forward lines and defensive pairs intact from the win against the Sharks. Goalie Corey Crawford will start his seventh consecutive game.

This game features three of the top offensive players in the NHL. Chicago right wing Patrick Kane leads the League with 50 points and 29 assists. Dallas captain Jamie Benn is first with 22 goals and third with 45 points. Teammate Tyler Seguin is second with 46 points and third in assists (27).

"Yeah, they definitely feed off of each other," Kane said of Benn and Seguin. "It seems like if one of them does something good, the other one's the benefit of a nice play. Pretty dynamic duo, obviously, when they're on the ice. We'll have to be aware [of them], but they can do it all."

The game also marks the first time Garbutt will face Dallas since the Stars traded him to the Blackhawks last summer.

"I think it's definitely going to be a little emotional, but I've got to put that stuff aside and just focus on the game," Garbutt said. "Dallas is playing really well right now and we're going to have to come ready to play for sure."

Since the Stars are on a back-to-back, they did not hold a morning skate. But four players, goaltender Kari Lehtonen, left wing Travis Moen and defensemen Patrik Nemeth and Jamie Oleksiak, each skated on their own.

Lehtonen struggled Monday at Minnesota, allowing two goals on his first four shots. Antti Niemi, who made 30 saves in relief of Lehtonen, is expected to start against Chicago.

Here are the projected lineups:


Artemi PanarinArtem AnisimovPatrick Kane

Teuvo TeravainenJonathan ToewsAndrew Shaw

Bryan BickellDennis RasmussenBrandon Mashinter

Andrew DesjardinsPhillip DanaultRyan Garbutt

Duncan KeithTrevor van Riemsdyk

Niklas HjalmarssonBrent Seabrook

Rob ScuderiMichal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Injured: Marian Hossa (upper body), Marcus Kruger (wrist)

Scratched: David Rundblad


Jamie BennTyler SeguinPatrick Sharp

Valeri Nichushkin - Jason SpezzaAles Hemsky

Antoine RousselCody EakinColton Sceviour

Mattias Janmark - Vernon FiddlerPatrick Eaves

Alex GoligoskiJohn Klingberg

Johnny OduyaJason Demers

Jyrki Jokipakka - Jordie Benn

Antti Niemi

Kari Lehtonen

Injured: None

Scratched: Travis Moen, Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak

Status report: Rundblad is a likely healthy scratch for a fifth consecutive game. … The Stars' trio of Moen, Nemeth and Oleksiak are likely healthy scratches for a third consecutive game.

Who's hot: Keith has six assists and nine points in his past nine games against Dallas. … Panarin leads all NHL rookies in assists and points. … Roussel is currently tied for the League lead with five game-winning goals. … Goligoski has a point in three of his past four games and is plus-4 during that time. … Janmark's seven goals are tied for eighth most among NHL rookies.

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