[7:00 PM] Stars @ Blackhawks

Who will WIN this matchup?

Dallas Stars (11-12-6)

@ Chicago Blackhawks (17-8-4)


Starting Goalies:

Kari Lehtonen (DAL): Unconfirmed

Scott Darling (CHI): Confirmed


The durable Seabrook missed his third regular-season game since 2012-13 on Friday – a 1-0 overtime loss to the New York Rangers that left Chicago 4-3-2 in its last nine contests starting with a 2-1 loss in San Jose on Nov. 23 when Toews suffered his upper-body injury. Crawford underwent an emergency appendectomy Dec. 3 in Philadelphia and began off-ice workouts this week.

The Stars blew a late lead and lost in Philadelphia 4-2 on Saturday afternoon after the Flyers scored three goals in the final 3:48, falling to 1-4-2 in their last seven road games. The Blackhawks won the first two of five meetings this season 3-2 on Nov. 5 and 4-3 in overtime on Nov. 6 with Chicago’s Patrick Kane scoring in each game and adding an assist.

The top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza, which combined for eight points in Thursday’s 5-2 victory over Nashville in their first game together, was shut out Saturday. Defenseman Johnny Oduya (lower-body injury) missed his 10th straight game, but is expected to play Sunday. Jiri Hudler was activated from injured reserve after missing 23 games because of a mysterious virus and was scratched Saturday, but is expected to play Sunday.

Chicago received another scare when Kane (team bests of 27 points and 19 assists) briefly left Friday’s game after a rough ride into the boards, but wound up playing nearly 20 minutes. Scott Darling is filling in admirably for Crawford, going 1-2-1 with a .950 save percentage and 1.52 goals-against average, and with no back-to-backs on the horizon should start them all until Crawford returns. The Blackhawks own the worst penalty-killing unit in the NHL at 72.1 percent but are starting to turn the corner by extinguishing 16-of-19 chances over the the last eight games.

The Stars are 4-8-4 on the road with two of the wins coming on back-to-back nights in Calgary and Edmonton one month ago this weekend.


StreakSmarts Pick: Chicago Blackhawks

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick