The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

March 26, 2014

Blackhawks top Stars

CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks are trying get into a groove so they can head into the playoffs firing on all cylinders.

Even without star forward Patrick Kane, the defending Stanley Cup champions showed signs of moving in the right direction Tuesday night.

Andrew Shaw and Duncan Keith each had a goal and an assist, and Chicago held on for a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars.

“We did some good things throughout the game,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “All four lines were contributing, and our special teams were good as well. Good win.”

Kris Versteeg and Marian Hossa also scored for Chicago, which needs just one more point to clinch a playoff berth for the sixth straight season. Patrick Sharp added two assists to help Chicago finish 4-1 against Dallas in the Central Division rivals’ regular-season series.

“It was a big win tonight,” said Keith, second in scoring among defensemen with 57 points. “They’re a hungry team, fighting for their playoff lives.”

Ryan Garbutt scored twice for the Stars, who fell three points behind Phoenix for the final Western Conference playoff berth.

Dallas matched Chicago’s speed and effort early, but eventually the Blackhawks took over and built a 3-1 lead. Garbutt’s second goal cut it to 3-2 late in the third, but Hossa’ empty-netter sealed the Blackhawks’ solid effort.

Chicago’s Corey Crawford made 25 saves, while Dallas’ Kari Lehtonen blocked 38 shots.

“They’re a fast team, can really skate,” Crawford said. “They got the jump early, and then our ‘D’ were able to shut them down really good.

“They really shut down everything in the third period.”

Dallas’ Tyler Seguin set up Garbutt’s goal in the second period to extend his point streak to 10 games. He has seven goals and 10 assists during the run.

Blackhawks top prospect Teuvo Teravainen didn’t record a point in his NHL debut but logged 11 minutes, 39 seconds of ice time. The 19-year-old forward was Chicago’s first-round draft pick in 2012 and led his team in Finland, Jokerit, in scoring this season.

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