CHICAGO (AP) — Corey Crawford and the Chicago Blackhawks buckled down and found a way to stop the NHL’s hottest team.
Crawford made 32 saves for Chicago’s first shutout this season and the Blackhawks beat Dallas 3-0 on Tuesday night, ending the Stars seven-game winning streak.
Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane and Connor Murphy scored for Chicago, which rebounded from a 2-1 shootout loss at Dallas on Saturday and snapped a three-game slide. The 34-year-old Crawford was sharp in stopping several prime Dallas chances in his 26th career shutout.
“A big win for us,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. “They’re a really good team. For us to get three out of four points in this set is a positive for us. … We gave them too much in transition again, but obviously (Crawford) made some saves and we made some plays and got the lead and that was also nice too.”
The Blackhawks dealt the surging Stars their first regulation loss since Oct. 26, and ended Dallas’ 12-game point streak (11-0-1.) The Stars’ seven-game winning streak matched a franchise record, something they’ve done five times since entering the NHL in 1967 as the Minnesota North Stars.
Crawford didn’t care about the shutout, but was pleased to beat a top opponent.
“It was good win against a really good team,” Crawford said. “We’ve just got to build off that. … I thought we played well defensively. A few times we got stuck in our own zone. We didn’t panic, just kept them to the outside. Some big blocked shots.”
Anton Khudobin stopped 35 shots in the second of back-to-back night games for Dallas. The Stars played their third game in four nights after beating Vegas 4-2 on Tuesday at home behind Ben Bishop.
“We’ve been playing good hockey for a long stretch,” Dallas’ Joe Pavelski said. “You don’t score any goals, it’s tough to win. But we had chances, generated some things.”
Stars coach Jim Montgomery said his team was a little stale.
“Our effort was there,” Montgomery said. “Our execution wasn’t great. Sometimes you’re mentally tired because of the schedule. It’s not an excuse, but it’s a fact.”
Kane extended his point streak to 13 games, increasing his total to nine goals and 13 assists in the stretch.
Blackhawks forward Dylan Strome was placed under concussion protocol just before the opening faceoff. After the game, Colliton said he was surprised that Strome was having symptoms and had no timetable for his return.
This one was tightly played and both goalies were on top of things.
Saad scored the only goal of the first period at 11:20. Following a faceoff in the Dallas zone, Saad drifted into the slot alone and swept Erik Gustafsson’s feed from the right point under Khudobin’s left pad.
Crawford made several in-close saves to keep Dallas off the board in the up-tempo first.
Crawford was sharp again in the scoreless second as Dallas outshot Chicago 14-11 His flashiest saves included a block of Radek Faksa’s point-blank deflection 1:20 in, and an in-close pad stop on Tyler Seguin from during a Stars power-play at 8:05.
Kane added his 12th goal of the season, on power-play goal at 10:42 of the third, to make it 2-0.
Khudobin was down and out of position after making a save on Alex DeBrincat’s shot from the left circle. DeBrincat picked up his own rebound and fed Kane on the right side.
The Blackhawks’ top scorer fired a shot past forward Jason Dickinson and defenseman Esa Lindell, who were trying to cover as Khudobin lunged across the crease.
Murphy added an empty-netter from deep in the Chicago zone with 2:40 left to complete the scoring.
NOTES: With Strome out, rookie Kirby Dach centered a line with Kane and DeBrincat on the wings. … F Matthew Highmore was recalled from Rockford of the AHL and took Strome’s spot in the Blackhawks’ lineup. … Dallas C Justin Dowling (upper-body) missed his second game. … Chicago F Drake Caggiula (concussion) sat out his seventh game. … Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks issued a statement saying that nothing had been brought to their attention before Monday about former minor league F Akim Aliu’s allegations of racist slurs toward him by Calgary coach Bill Peters when both were with Rockford of the AHL 10 years ago. The Nigerian-born Aliu was selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2007 draft and played two seasons in the Blackhawks system. Peters’ status with the Flames remained in limbo on Tuesday night as the team and NHL investigated Aliu’s accusations.
Stars: Host St. Louis on Friday.
Blackhawks: Host Colorado on Friday.
More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports