By Kelsie Plesac
Fans got a taste of what could possibly be a first round playoff match up on Monday at the United Center when the Blackhawks took on the Dallas Stars. The Blackhawks defeated the Stars 5-2 snapping Dallas’s five-game winning streak and adding to their own five-game winning streak. The Blackhawks struck first at 7:56 in the first period with captain Jonathan Toews’s 21st goal of the season. Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad registered assists.
Viktor Stalberg would double the lead with his 9th goal of the season at 12:14 in the second period. Michal Handzus and Andrew Shaw were credited with assists. The Stars would answer though at the 14:12 mark when Jamie Benn registered his 9th goal of the season. The goal was assisted by Ray Whitney.
Benn would strike again early in the third period with his 10th goal of the season, tying the score. Whitney was credited with another assist along with Alex Goligoski. The Blackhawks would soon regain their lead, however, with a Shaw goal at 4:31. The goal marked Shaw’s 9th of the season and was assisted by Patrick Kane. Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson would add to the Blackhawks lead at 7:46, tallying his second goal of the season and his first in 27 games. Hossa and Toews registered assists. In the final minute of the game Hossa would put the game away for Chicago registering his 16th goal of the season, an empty-netter.
The win takes the Hawks to 33-5-4 and the loss brings the Stars to 21-18-3. The Blackhawks will have three days of rest before facing the Nashville Predators for the last time in the regular season Friday night in Chicago.