8:36 pm
December 20

Blackhawks @ Stars

Who will WIN this matchup?

Chicago Blackhawks (11-19-6)

@ Dallas Stars (17-14-3)


Starting Goalies:

Cam Ward (CHI): Confirmed

Ben Bishop (DAL): Confirmed


Current odds:

Chicago Blackhawks: (+170)

Dallas Stars: (-200)


 Getting off the road provided a much-needed lift for the Dallas Stars, who halted a four-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory over Calgary on Tuesday night to improve their home record to a stellar 11-3-1. The Stars will have one of their top players back in the lineup when they go for their sixth straight home victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. The Stars will add a key cog with the return of defenseman John Klingberg, who has been sidelined for nearly six weeks after undergoing hand surgery.

• Chicago had dropped nine of 10 before wrapping up a four-game homestand with a 2-1 victory over Nashville on Tuesday night. Blackhawks forward Artem Anisimov returned from a concussion for Tuesday’s game but teammate Marcus Kruger suffered a similar injury and was placed on injured reserve Wednesday.

• Defenseman Erik Gustafsson scored five goals in 2017-18 but is on a roll with six tallies in the last dozen games to push his career-best total to seven for the season. “It builds my confidence,” Gustafsson said after scoring the decisive goal on the power play against Nashville. “It’s always nice to score a goal, but at the end you want to make sure the team wins. My confidence feels good and it’s a lot of fun to play right now.” With starting goaltender Corey Crawford suffering a concussion in Sunday’s game, Cam Ward stepped in with a 30-save effort to beat the Predators.

• Klingberg was off to a fast start this season with five goals and eight assists through 16 games, but he has been sidelined for 17 contests since he injured his hand on Nov. 8. The second-leading scorer among defensemen last season with a career-high 67 points, Montgomery said he will pair the Swede with Esa Lindell for Thursday’s matchup. Starting netminder Ben Bishop, who had to briefly exit Tuesday’s win to be checked for a concussion before returning for the first combined shutout in franchise history, won all four starts against Chicago last season while allowing seven goals.

• Stars C Tyler Seguin followed a four-game point drought with two goals and three assists in the last three contests.

• Blackhawks F Patrick Kane has nine points over the last eight games.

• Dallas swept the season series in 2017-18 and outscored Chicago 7-2 at home.

StreakSmarter Pick
Dallas Stars