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Stars-Blackhawks Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Saturday, February 6

7:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (33-14-5) won 4-3 in overtime at Colorado Thursday, snapping an eight-game losing streak to the Avalanche. John Klingberg scored 35 seconds into the extra period for the Stars, who have won three straight games and four of their past five (4-1-0).

“They've had our number for a while and seem to shut us down pretty well," said Stars defenseman Jason Demers, who scored on the power play to tie the game 3-3 with 8:40 remaining. "We did a great job tonight of not getting too anxious when we were getting those chances. They're tough in this building.”

The Stars lost center Jason Spezza to an upper-body injury in the second period of Thursday’s game. Dallas placed Spezza on injured reserve Friday and recalled center Radek Faksa from the Texas Stars of the AHL.

The Stars head into Saturday night’s game three points behind Central Division-leading Chicago with three games in hand.

Saturday’s game is the third of five straight against the Central Division for the Stars.

Injuries: Jason Spezza (upper body) is on injured reserve.

The Blackhawks (35-16-4) won 5-4 in overtime at Arizona Thursday for their second straight win and third in the past four games (3-1-0). Jonathan Toews scored with 28.5 seconds left in the extra period to give the Blackhawks their league-leading ninth overtime win.

“It was a heck of a hockey game, back-and-forth, and the building was alive," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville told “Both teams had A-plus chances in overtime and Johnny's been pretty good in that situation for us.”

Toews leads the NHL with five overtime goals. The Blackhawks are 10-4 in games that have gone beyond regulation, including 9-4 in 3-on-3 overtime.

The Blackhawks are 15-3-0 in their past 18 games.

Injuries: F Marcus Kruger (wrist) is on injured reserve.

*This is the second of five meetings between the Stars and Blackhawks.

*The Stars won the first meeting, 4-0, in Dallas on December 22. Goaltender Antti Niemi stopped 20 shots, and forward Patrick Sharp registered one goal and one assist for the Stars.

*The Stars are 10-4-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Blackhawks are 10-6-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 19-6-0 at home, including 11-3-0 in their past 14.

*The Blackhawks are 14-11-3 on the road, including 8-3-0 in their past eleven.

*The Stars rank second in the league in goal scoring (3.25 per game).

*Chicago ranks seventh in goals against (2.31 per game).

*Chicago ranks sixth in goal scoring (2.78 per game).

*The Stars are tied for 16th in goals against (2.64 per game).

*The Stars have scored on the power play in three of the past four games.

*The Blackhawks are 1-19 on the power play over the past seven games.

*Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane leads the NHL in goals (31) and points (75).

*Stars forward Jamie Benn ranks third in the NHL in goals (28) and second in points (58).

*Stars forward Tyler Seguin ranks fourth in goals (27) and third in points (55).

This story was not subject to the 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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