Sunday seemed like it would be all about testing the red-hot Dallas Stars. More than anything else, the Chicago Blackhawks’ eventual 5-4 OT win was a huge challenge for Corey Crawford and Kari Lehtonen, really.
It was a thriller – particularly in an overtime period that was full of staggering moments – but Patrick Sharp’s clincher ended up being the difference.
Lehtonen helped Dallas stick things out despite some bend-but-not-break moments, although he’d almost certainly like to have Brad Richards’ game-tying goal back.
It was an exciting game that probably added some gray hairs for head coaches Joel Quenneville and Lindy Ruff, especially when the two teams combined for three goals in less than three minutes:
This ended a four-game winning streak for the Stars, who have now lost three games against the Blackhawks (despite strong showing in two of those contests). As dispiriting as it must be to fall short against Chicago once again, Dallas is moving within striking distance of a Western Conference playoff spot, a thought that seemed pretty outlandish before the Stars really took off in mid-December.
Considering the fact that the Blackhawks are their overbearing neighbors in the Central Division, it’s clear that the Stars still have a way to go.
The two teams meet again in Chicago on Jan. 18 and then close out their season series with a March 21 contests in Dallas.