Blackhawks 5, Stars 2
The Blackhawks finally figured out a way to beat the Dallas Stars.
Dave Bolland scored two goals while Andrew Brunette, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp each had one to lead Chicago to a 5-2 win over the Stars on Saturday night.
Vernon Fiddler and Steve Ott scored for the Stars, who were outplayed for most of the game by the energized Blackhawks before a crowd of 21,674.
Chicago ended a four-game losing streak against Dallas by taking the second contest of a home-and-home set. The Stars had won 2-1 Friday night in Dallas in both clubs' season openers.
''I thought we had a lot more energy and made better decisions with the puck,'' Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ''We had a little more patience with it.
''Tonight it seemed like everyone had more of a purpose in our lineup.''
One of the Blackhawks' top priorities is getting off to a better start than last season. After winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, Chicago was dogged by inconsistency last year and squeaked into the playoffs on the final day of the 2010-11 regular season.
''It's key, winning those games at the start,'' Bolland said. ''When you don't, last year we battled for a playoff spot.
''We want that early on in the season. We don't want to battle for it at the end.''
And Bolland chipped in a strong performance on Saturday after missing Friday's game with an upper-body injury.
''He makes a difference,'' Quenneville said.
Chicago's Corey Crawford made 19 saves.
Dallas' Andrew Raycroft stopped 26 shots, following a 37-save effort by Kari Lehtonen on Friday.
Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan, said Raycroft is ''slated in our minds to play 20-some games'' behind Lehtonen.
''But we weren't good enough in front of him,'' Gulutzan said. ''One of the most disappointing things you can get is when you get outworked. And I thought we were outworked a little bit.''
Chicago outshot Dallas 10-2 in the first period and took a 1-0 lead 8:06 in on Brunette's first goal as a Blackhawk. The 38-year-old forward, who signed as a free agent in the offseason, poked in a rebound of Sharp's shot from the left circle during a power play.
Chicago kept up the pressure in the second, and built a 3-0 lead on goals by Bolland and Toews.
Bolland fooled Raycroft with a 50-foot shot from the left wing boards to make it 2-0 at 7:39. Toews scored just under four minutes later on a breakaway after he left the penalty box, skated to the Dallas blue line and took a stretch pass from Brent Seabrook.
Fiddler's rising shot from a sharp angle beat Crawford with 7:25 left in the second to cut it to 3-1.
Sharp made it 4-1 at 5:10 of the third when he fired a shot over Raycroft's glove on a 2-on-1 break during a delayed penalty call.
Ott was credited with a power-play goal midway through the third that cut it to 4-2 when Sheldon Souray's shot deflected in off him. Bolland dumped in an empty-net goal with 1:46 left to complete the scoring.
Notes: Ott's goal was originally credited to Souray, but was changed after the game. ... Chicago skated without LW Viktor Stalberg (lower-body) and RW Ben Smith (concussion) for the second straight game. ... D Nicklas Grossman (hip) and D Adam Pardy (ribs) were out for Dallas for a second night. ... The Blackhawks recalled C Markus Kruger from Rockford of the AHL in time for the game and assigned C Brandon Pirri to their top farm team.