Series Preview: Blackhawks vs Stars, February 7 and 9, 2021

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Series Preview: Blackhawks vs Stars, February 7 and 9, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks

In the appetizer to the Super Bowl on Sunday, the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars kick-off their first two-game series of the season. Chicago holds the edge in the all-time record against the Dallas Stars/Minneosta North Stars franchise with a 141-106-31-6 mark, but have lost 11 of the last 21 matchups between the teams over the past five years (10-8-3). The series will be highlighted by the special teams of both the Stars and Blackhawks, boasting similarly hot powerplays and league-average penalty-kills.

One-Timers

•   The Blackhawks come into this game having tallied at least one point in the standings in eight of their last nine games, going 4-1-4 over that stretch. The sit in fifth-place in the Central Division based on points (12), but are in sixth-place based on points percentage (.500).

•   The Dallas Stars are 4-0-0 at home this season, while the Blackhawks have yet to win a game on the road (0-3-3). Dallas sits in sixth-place in the Central Division with 11 points, but are in fourth-place based on points percentage (.688).

•   A number of rookies on both sides of the ice have been given great opportunities this season to make impacts for their clubs. Kevin Lankinen, Pius Suter, Brandon Hagel, and Philipp Kurashev have been standouts for the Blackhawks and are major reasons they have had a moderate level of success this year. For the Stars, Ty Dellandrea ranks eighth among forwards for minutes played this season, and goaltender Jake Oettinger has won both games he has started this season. If Joel Kiviranta, who is a game-time decision for Sunday, is able to play, it’ll give Dallas another rookie key figure to worry about for Chicago. Kiviranta had a goal and an assist in the first game of the season for Dallas before leaving with a lower-body injury. He had six points in 14 playoff games last summer during the Stars’ run to the Stanley Cup Final.

Puck Drops and Broadcast Info

•   Sunday, February 7 at 2:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, FS-SW, ESPN+
Radio: WGN 720 AM

•   Tuesday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, FS-SW
Radio: WGN 720 AM

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (4-4-4, 12 pts)

Janmark – Kurashev – Kane
DeBrincat – Strome – Kubalík
Suter – Söderberg – Hagel
Highmore – Kämpf – Shaw

Keith – Mitchell
deHaan – Murphy
Zadorov – Beaudin

Lankinen
Subban

Stars (5-2-1, 11 pts)

Benn – Pavelski – Dellandrea
Dickinson – Hintz – Gurianov
Cogliano – Faksa – Comeau
Kero – Dowling – Robertson

Lindell – Klingberg
Oleksiak – Heiskanen
Hanley – Pysyk

Oettinger
Khudobin

Tale of the Tape

Powerplay
Blackhawks: 37.8% (3rd)
Stars: 40.0% (1st)

Penalty-Kill
Blackhawks: 81.0% (13th)
Stars: 80.0% (14th)

Faceoffs
Blackhawks: 47.0% (26th)
Stars: 49.2% (21st)

Goals Per Game
Blackhawks: 2.92 (16th)
Stars: 4.00 (1st)

Goals Against Per Game
Blackhawks: 3.08 (20th)
Stars: 2.50 (6th)

Top Scorer
Blackhawks: Patrick Kane – 6 goals, 9 assists, 15 points
Stars: Joe Pavelski – 7 goals, 8 assists, 15 points

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Brent Seabrook (IR – Lower Back)
Zack Smith (IR – Back)
Kirby Dach (LTIR – Out 4-5 months – Wrist)
Alex Nylander (LTIR – Out 4-6 months – Knee)
Jonathan Toews (LTIR – Illness)
Adam Boqvist (Day-to-day – COVID Protocol)
Lucas Wallmark (Day-to-day – COVID Protocol)
Ryan Carpenter (Day-to-day – COVID Protocol)

Stars: 

Alexander Radulov (Day-to-day – Lower body)
Joel Kiviranta (Day-to-day – Lower body)
Andrej Sekera (Day-to-day – COVID Protocol)
Ben Bishop (LTIR – Knee Surgery)
Stephen Johns (LTIR – Head Injury)
Tyler Seguin (Indefinite – Hip Surgery)

Keep An Eye Out For

Powerplay Battle. The Blackhawks and Stars boast the two of the best powerplays in the NHL. This series could very well come down to which team is better at staying out of the penalty box. Chicago’s penalty-kill has been on the rise as of late, but they aren’t impervious. The Stars are loaded offensively, even without Tyler Seguin in the lineup.

Dallas Bringing Out The Big Guns. Speaking of the loaded Stars offensive attack, Jamie Benn and Joe Pavelski are two big names that Chicago will have to account for. Pavelski leads the Stars with 15 points this season, and has at least one point in seven of eight games this season. He has also scored three or more points in a game three times this season. Benn has missed four of the Stars’ games but has six points in his last three games played, all coming at even-strength.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.