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Stars-Blackhawks Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars
Saturday, February 4
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (21-21-10) had a four-game points streak snapped with a 4-3 loss to Winnipeg at American Airlines Center Thursday. The Stars outshot the Jets 42-29 and had an 83-43 advantage in shot attempts, but Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec made 39 saves, and some mistakes proved costly for Dallas.

"We had our opportunities, but we gave them their opportunities too, and they made the best of it," said Stars captain Jamie Benn, who had one goal and two assists. "That's a tough one. I thought we were going pretty good tonight."

Stars forward Jason Spezza suffered an upper-body injury in the third period of Thursday's game after being hit hard by Jets forward Adam Lowry. Spezza is expected to miss some time.

"It's going to take a week or two, maybe longer," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said, adding that's Spezza's injury was not a concussion.

Saturdays' game wraps up a six-game homestand for the Stars, who are 2-1-2 in the first five games.

Injuries: C Jason Spezza (upper body) is out. D Johnny Oduya (lower body), D Jamie Oleksiak (hand), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

About the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks (31-17-5) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 win at Arizona Thursday. The Blackhawks scored three goals, including two on the power play, in a 5:31 span of the first period to take a 3-0 lead and then held off the Coyotes.

"We jumped on them really quick. That was one of our best periods in a long time," said Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa, who scored Chicago's third goal. "The power play was good, and we had good pressure."

The Blackhawks, who came into the game on a 1-20 run on the power play, were 2-4 with the man-advantage on Thursday.

Saturdays' game is the third of six straight on the road for Chicago. They are 1-1-0 in the first two.

Injuries: D Michal Rozsival (lower body) is on injured reserve.

Season Series

*This is the fourth of five meetings between the Stars and Blackhawks this season.

*The Stars are 0-2-1 (1 point) in the season series.

*The Blackhawks are 3-0-0 (6 points) in the season series.

*Nov. 5, at Dallas: Blackhawks 3, Stars 2
*Nov. 6, at Chicago: Blackhawks 4, Stars 3 (OT)
*Dec. 11, at Chicago: Blackhawks 3, Stars 1

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars are 14-8-6 at home.

*The Blackhawks are 13-10-1 on the road.

*The Stars are 8-10-4 vs the Central Division.

*The Blackhawks are 10-8-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Blackhawks are 9-9-1 (19 points) in their past 19 games.

*The Stars are 8-7-4 (20 points) in their past 19 games.

*The Stars have scored on the power play in five straight games and seven of the past nine.

*The Blackhawks have allowed a power-play goal in six of their past eight games.

*The Stars have allowed a power-play goal in 13 of the past 15 games.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn is on a five-game points streak (4 goals, 3 assists).

*Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in the past five games.

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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