Stars chase Crawford as Eaves scores first-period hat trick

AP
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The Dallas Stars seemed like they were slipping out of the run for the top spot in the Central Division for a while there.

Now it seems like they might just boot the Chicago Blackhawks out of first place in little time.

Granted, there’s plenty of time left in Thursday’s game, and that’s probably part of the reason why Joel Quenneville gave Corey Crawford the early hook.

The other reasons? Well, four of them, as Dallas is up 4-0 … and Patrick Eaves provided a remarkably rapid hat trick riding along with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

Here’s his third tally:

If Dallas can hold on for a regulation win, the Stars would end the night just one standings point behind Chicago with two games in hand. Then again, as this race has shown, it’s rarely safe to make too many assumptions.

Update: Dallas ended up beating Chicago 4-2.