Saturday, March 16, 2013
Chicago Blackhawks 8, Dallas Stars 1
Stars' race to the bottom continues unabated with horrific shelling.
DALLAS The Dallas Stars' plan to become a bottom-feeding lottery team became more apparent Saturday night at the American Airlines Center, as they lost 8-1 to the NHL-leading Chicago Blackhawks in a game that wasn't even as close as the final score indicates. The loss was their fourth straight, during which they've been outscored 16-3, and dropped Dallas to 12-12-3, three points out of last place in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks improved to a league-best 23-2-3.
The teams started off fairly even in the beginning of the first period, with plenty of back-and-forth play, until the Blackhawks struck with two goals in a minute and a half span. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews deflected in a Nick Leddy shot from the point for the first goal at 9:05, then struck again after a Stars defensive lapse for his 13th goal of the season and a 2-0 lead. Leddy struck again with just over two minutes remaining in the period, pushing in a fat rebound in a goalmouth scramble, to make it 3-0 heading into the first intermission.
The Stars failed to adjust, and by the end of the second period they had given up three more easy goals: Johnny Oduya's second in as many games at 8:05 and a pair to Marian Hossa, who potted his 12th of the year at 12:18 and scored on a 5-on-3 with just under a minute left to make it 6-0 Blackhawks.
Chicago wasn't done. Duncan Keith scored his second of the year two minutes into the third to make it 7-0, before Trevor Daley finally broke the shutout with a powerplay goal at 6:30. Patrick Kane scored his 15th of the year at the midway point to complete the scoring.
Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen was terrible, making just 13 saves on 17 shots and getting pulled in the second period for shaky backup Richard Bachman. Bachman fared exactly the same, with 13 saves on 17 shots. Chicago netminder Corey Crawford was rarely tested, making 18 saves on 19 shots.
Dallas' next game is Monday night, as they complete one of the worst homestands in franchise history with a visit from the 11-11-4 Calgary Flames, who have already blown out the Stars twice this season.