Series Preview: Blackhawks vs Stars, April 6th and 8th, 2021

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Series Preview: Blackhawks vs Stars, April 6th and 8th, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks

The next nine games for the Chicago Blackhawks are against teams also battling for playoff position in the Central Division. So in a sense, this *is* the playoffs for the Blackhawks and all those involved, even though there are still 17 games left. The Dallas Stars are looking to get even closer to the Blackhawks and Nashville Predators above them as they fight to avoid missing the postseason one year after coming so close to the Stanley Cup.


•   Chicago enters this series having dropped 10 of their last 14 games (since March 7th), all in regulation. That is a lot of points left on the table. They do have a 3-1-0 record against the Stars this season, but have been outscored 10-9 in those four contests.

•   Patrick Kane remains the teams leader in points, but has not been as prolific a goal-scorer as he was earlier in the season. Kane has found the back of the net just twice since February 28th, when he scored his 400th career goal. Kane has not scored against two of the seven Central Division teams this season: the Predators and the Stars. He has four assists in four games against Dallas this season, with 29 goals and 65 points in 55 career games against the Stars.

•   Joe Pavelski has been the leader for the Stars offense this season, leading the team with 34 points in 36 games this season. As of late, Pavelski has been kept in check as he enters this series with just two points over his last six games, both of which were assists that came against the Predators on April 1st. Chicago has been able to hold Pavelski to just one goal in their four games this season, while he has 38 points in 47 career games against the Blackhawks.

Puck Drops and Broadcast Info

•   Tuesday, April 6th at 7:00 p.m. CT
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200 AM

•   Thursday, April 8th at 7:00 p.m. CT
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200 AM

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (17-17-5, 39 pts)

DeBrincat – Dach – Kane
Kubalík – Kurashev – Hagel
Janmark – Suter – Strome
Hinostroza – Kämpf – Carpenter

Keith – Boqvist
de Haan
– Kalynuk
Zadorov – Murphy


Stars (13-13-10, 36 pts)

Robertson – Hintz – Pavelski
Benn – Dowling –
Cogliano – Gardner – Comeau
Caamano – Kero – Dellandrea

Lindell – Klingberg
Oleksiak – Heiskanen
Sekera – Pysyk


Tale of the Tape

Blackhawks: 25.8% (5th)
Stars: 25.0% (6th)

Blackhawks: 73.6% (28th)
Stars: 77.1% (22nd)

Blackhawks: 46.3% (28th)
Stars: 50.1% (18th)

Goals Per Game
Blackhawks: 2.74 (16th)
Stars: 2.69 (19th)

Goals Against Per Game
Blackhawks: 3.08 (22nd)
Stars: 2.50 (7th)

Top Scorer
Blackhawks: Patrick Kane – 13 goals, 36 assists, 49 points
Stars: Joe Pavelski – 15 goals, 19 assists, 34 points

Injury Report


Brent Seabrook (LTIR – Retirement)
Zack Smith (LTIR – Back)
Andrew Shaw (LTIR – Concussion)
Alex Nylander (LTIR  – Knee)
Jonathan Toews (LTIR – Illness)


Radek Faksa (Day-to-day – Upper Body)
Jason Dickinson (Day-to-day – Lower Body)
Thomas Harley (Day-to-day – Lower Body)
Joel Hanley (Day-to-day – Lower Body)
Joel Kiviranta (Day-to-day – Lower Body)
Alexander Radulov (IR – Lower body)
Ben Bishop (LTIR – Knee Surgery)
Stephen Johns (LTIR – Head Injury)
Tyler Seguin (Indefinite – Hip Surgery)

Keep An Eye Out For

Blackhawks Discipline. Chicago has been incredibly disciplined in their last stretch of games, taking just ten penalties in their last five matchups, *including* their six-penalty night against the Florida Panthers on March 25th. The Blackhawks have taken the fewest penalties in the NHL in that stretch of time, and have killed off nine of those ten, allowing a powerplay goal against to the Predators in their last time out. The Blackhawks are 10-for-11 on the penalty-kill against the Stars this season, whose powerplay ranks sixth in the NHL at a 25.0% success rate.

Making Up Games. The Dallas Stars have been working overtime to get back on track with the rest of the NHL after missing a chunk of games earlier in the year due to COVID issues. Since March 1st, the Stars are tied for the most games played (20) with the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche. Dallas is 7-7-6 over that stretch. After having false positives for both goaltender Anton Khudobin and head coach Rick Bowness ahead of traveling to Chicago, the Stars could be coming into this series with tired legs. That could play into the favor of the Blackhawks, who have had a lot of trouble starting games “on time.”

Author: Mario Tirabassi

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