Series Preview: Blackhawks vs Stars, May 9th-10th, 2021

The Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars come to the United Center to put an end to the 2021 season for both teams. The final two-game series of the season will have little-to-nothing on the line as both teams have been eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention after the Nashville Predators locked up the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division with a win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Chicago is 4-2-0 agains the Stars this season, but the Stars have outscored the Blackhawks 17-14 in the previous six meetings.

One-Timers

•   The Blackhawks enter the final two-game series of the season against the Stars with a 4-2-0 record in the previous six meetings between the teams. Chicago has two series wins this season against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings, both with 6-2-0 records over the teams. With a regulation win in either game will seal a third series win for the Blackhawks.

•   Alex DeBrincat is riding a a career-long five-game goal streak and a six-game point streak heading into the series against the Stars. Since February 2nd, DeBrincat is second in the league with 27 goals and his 29 goals overall are fifth in the NHL. His 1.04 points per game pace this year would be a new career high.

•   Likely to see one start over the final two games of the season, Collin Delia made three appearances against the Carolina Hurricanes in the last series for the Blackhawks. He went 1-1-0 in three appearances and stops 77 of 82 shots (.939) last week, earning his first win this season and first NHL win since February of 2019.

Puck Drops and Broadcast Info

•   Sunday, May 9th at 6:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, BSSW, NHLN
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200 AM

•   Monday, May 10th at 7:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, BSSW+, NBCSN
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200 AM

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (23-25-6, 52 pts)

Gaudette Suter – Kane
DeBrincat – Kurashev – Hagel

Kubalík – Kämpf – Strome
Hardman – Entwistle – Hinostroza

Mitchell – Kalynuk 
Zadorov – Regula
Murphy Stillman
Beaudin

Delia
Lankinen/Subban

Stars (22-18-14, 58 pts)

Kiviranta – Hintz – Pavelski
Roberstson – Benn – Seguin

Cogliano – Faksa – Comeau
Dickinson – Kero – Gurianov

Lindell – Klingberg
Oleksiak – Heiskanen
Sekera – Hanley

Khudobin
Oettinger

Tale of the Tape

Powerplay
Blackhawks: 21.9% (11th)
Stars: 23.4% (7th)

Penalty-Kill
Blackhawks: 77.0% (27th)
Stars: 78.9% (20th)

Faceoffs
Blackhawks: 46.4% (29th)
Stars: 51.7% (7th)

Goals Per Game
Blackhawks: 2.80 (17th)
Stars: 2.76 (19th)

Goals Against Per Game
Blackhawks: 3.28 (24th)
Stars: 2.59 (8th)

Top Scorer
Blackhawks: Patrick Kane – 15 goals, 49 assists, 64 points
Stars: Joe Pavelski – 24 goals, 26 assists, 50 points

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Duncan Keith (Out for season – Concussion)
Brett Connolly (Out for season – Concussion)
Calvin de Haan (Day-to-day – Hip)
Ryan Carpenter (Day-to-day – Concussion)
Adam Boqvist (Out for season – Wrist)
Kirby Dach (Out for season – Wrist)
Brent Seabrook (LTIR – Retirement)
Zack Smith (LTIR – Back)
Andrew Shaw (LTIR – Retirement)
Alex Nylander (LTIR  – Knee)
Jonathan Toews (LTIR – Illness)

Stars: 

Alexander Radulov (IR – Lower body)
Ben Bishop (LTIR – Knee Surgery)
Stephen Johns (LTIR – Head Injury)

Keep An Eye Out For

Young Guns. The Blackhawks have ten rookies on their active roster and will likely play all ten of them over the final two games of the season. Chicago has seen nine players make their NHL debuts this season and rookies Pius Suter and Brandon Hagel are fourth and fifth in scoring on the team with 24 and 22 points this season. Since the 2009-10 season, only four rookies have finished in the top five of team scoring for the Blackhawks (Kris Versteeg, Brandon Saad, Artemiy Panarin, Dominik Kubalík). The last time the team had multiple rookies in the top five of scoring was 2007-08 when Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews finished first and third in scoring.

Welcome Back, Fans. The United Center will house fans for a Blackhawks game for the first time since March 11th, 2020. Even in a limited capacity, it will be awesome to hear the energy in the building with real fans making real fan noise.

written by

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

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