DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Dallas Stars opened a two-game series against the Blackhawks Tuesday night with a 6-1 beatdown. On Thursday night, while playing well, they couldn’t pull out another win.
Carl Soderberg and Alex DeBrincat scored power-play goals in the second period and Chicago scored on four of their first eight shots in a 4-2 victory over the Stars.READ MORE: Crowley ISD Dropping Mask Mandate As COVID-19 Case Numbers In School District Drop
Thirty-seven-year-old defenseman Duncan Keith had his first goal in exactly a calendar year, Dominik Kubalik also scored and rookie Kevin Lankinen made 28 saves.
Patrick Kane and Adam Boqvist each had two assists to help the Blackhawks close their four games in Dallas this season at 3-1-0.
“I think we had a good plan last game, too; we just couldn’t get the bounces,” Soderberg said. “When you get the bounces, it’s a little bit easier to play with a lead.”
Roope Hintz and John Klingberg scored for the Stars. They finished a six-game homestand 2-3-1. Anton Khudobin made only four saves, all on penalty kills, before being replaced by rookie Jake Oettinger in the third period.
“Tough night,” Khudobin understated.
The Blackhawks reached the midpoint of the 56-game season with 33 points and hold down the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division with a seven-point lead over fifth-place Columbus.
“We need to continue to have the hunger to get better,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. “We want to be able to go head-to-head with the top teams in our division.”
The Stars are 12 points out of a playoff spot, where they started the homestand. They have six games in hand on the Blackhawks having had games postponed because of health and safety protocol in January and the February weather and power emergency in Texas.READ MORE: Mavericks Fans Must Bring COVID-19 Vaccine Card Or Proof Of Negative Test To Attend Dallas' Home Opener
Chicago came in with the league’s No. 2 power play at 30.4 percent and went 2 for 5. The Stars went 0 for 5, including a 35-second 5-on-3.
Much of the math from Thursday night’s loss obviously baffled and frustrated Dallas coach Rick Bowness.
“They had two even-strength shots on net after 40 minutes and they’re up four-nothing,” Bowness said. “We outshot them 15 to 4 in the first and we’re down one-nothing. The power play was off. Penalty kill wasn’t good enough.”
Kubalik gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead at 5:26 of the first period after gathering a loose puck just outside the blue line and slipping a backhander between Khudobin’s pads. It was Kubalik’s 10th of the season and seventh in his last 12 games.
Soderberg doubled the lead by redirecting a shot by Boqvist from the right point for a power-play goal, his fifth goal of the season, at 2:57 of the second period.
Keith scored on a slap shot from the high slot at 14:37 of the second period for his first score since March 11, 2020, when Chicago last played before the NHL shut down because of the pandemic.
“I’m not sure if you’d call it poetry,” Colliton said, “but, listen, he does a lot of stuff that helps us win.”
DeBrincat drew an interference penalty and scored on that power play from the right dot at 16:10 of the second period for his team-high 15th goal.
Dallas closed the gap with Hintz’s seventh goal of the season at 9:43 of the third period followed by Klingberg’s low wrister less than two minutes later, his fifth of the year.MORE NEWS: Gas Leak Shuts Down 2 Blocks In Downtown Fort Worth, 1 Building Evacuated
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)