Blackhawks use 3rd-period spurt to beat Stars
CHICAGO (AP) — The desperate Dallas Stars staged a comeback against the Chicago Blackhawks, they just couldn’t skate off with a win.
Andrew Shaw, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Marian Hossa scored in the third period after Dallas rallied to tie it, and the Blackhawks went on to beat the Stars 5-2 on Monday night for their sixth straight win.
Dallas’ Jamie Benn scored his second goal of the game early in the third period to knot it at 2, but Shaw scored just 1:24 later on a screened shot that goalie Richard Bachman said he didn’t see.
A little over three minutes later, Hjalmarsson made it 4-2 — set up by a second effort by Hossa.
Hossa’s empty-net goal sealed the win for the Blackhawks, who have points in nine consecutive games (8-0-1).
“When you play good defense, the offensive chances come, and when we got those chances, we buried them as much as we could,” Shaw said. “Overall, we played great in every aspect.”
The Blackhawks’ resilience was more than a matter of talent and execution, according to Shaw.
“Just heart,” he said. “You want to win every game you play. The feeling of winning is unbelievable. We work for each other and want to win every shift.”
The Blackhawks (33-5-4) became the first team to reach 70 points in the lockout-shortened, 48-game season. Chicago moved 11 points ahead of idle Anaheim, which is second in the Western Conference, and six ahead of Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh in the overall standings.
Jonathan Toews netted his team-leading 21st goal, and Viktor Stalberg also scored for the Blackhawks. Ray Emery made 16 saves and improved to 16-1.
The Blackhawks, who started the season with points in their first 24 games to set an NHL record, are hitting another groove down the stretch.
“It does feel similar,” Toews said. “We’re down a goal, we’re up a goal, we find a way to come back and finish the job in the third period or even in overtime.
“We’re hungry to play every single night. That’s the No. 1 similarity. We’re having fun.”
The Stars’ five-game winning streak ended. Richard Bachman made 23 saves in his third straight start in place of No. 1 goalie Kari Lehtonen, who is out because of a lower body injury.
Bachman has been in goal since relieving Lehtonen in the first period of the Stars’ 5-1 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday.
“There’s a reason they’re the No. 1 team in the league,” Bachman said. “They’re a good squad. They capitalize, but we really hung in there for the majority of the game.
“Even to start that third, we gave ourselves a chance there. I’ve got to make one or two more saves to kind of put us in a better position.”
The Stars remained in ninth place in the Western Conference, two points below the postseason cutoff with six games remaining.
Dallas rookie Alex Chiasson left the game with an upper body injury in the first period after playing six shifts. Chiasson had six goals and an assist in his first six NHL games after being called up from Texas of the AHL earlier this month.
“They had a look at his shoulder and they think it may be a sprain, so he’s going to be a day-to-day guy,” Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp, the team’s leading goal scorer last season with 33, missed his second straight game and 16th of the past 18 because of an upper body injury.
Toews scored the only goal of the first period on a tip-in with 7:06 left to cap a cross-ice passing play with Hossa and Brandon Saad.
Stalberg used a burst of speed to give Chicago a 2-0 lead with 7:46 left in the second.
Benn cut it to 2-1 just under two minutes later, capping a 3-on-1 break that resulted from a rare Chicago turnover.
After Patrick Kane couldn’t handle the puck just inside the Chicago blue line, Benn, Ray Whitney and Loui Eriksson raced down the ice against Hjalmarsson. Benn fired a shot between Emery’s pads from the low edge of the right circle after a quick give-and-go with Whitney.
Benn tied it at 2 with his 10th goal at 3:07 of the third on a screened shot from the high edge of the right circle.
Shaw’s goal, also on screened shot, put Chicago back in front 3-2 just 1:24 later. Shaw ripped a shot past Bachman from the right circle with Chicago’s Bryan Bickell and Dallas’ Trevor Daley tied up in front of the crease.
Hjalmarsson scored at 7:46 of the third to give Chicago a 4-2 lead, snapping a 27-game streak without a goal.
Hossa’s empty-net goal with 27 seconds left completed the scoring
NOTES: A moment of silence was observed before the game for victims of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. … The Blackhawks have failed to score on 20 straight power-play chances, spanning nine games and dating to March 29. … Hobey Baker Award winner Drew LeBlanc, signed by the Blackhawks last week, joined the team but didn’t play. … Dallas LW Lane MacDermid missed his fifth game because of an upper body injury.