To say the Dallas Stars needed a game like this would be a massive understatement.
They entered Tuesday’s game against Chicago way down the Central Division standings after losing 13 of their previous 16 games. It is also stretch that has seen them struggle to score goals at various times over the past month-and-a-half.
They finally broke out on Tuesday with a huge 6-1 win over the Blackhawks to get back in the win column.
The biggest positive for the Stars at this point is the fact they still have time (and games played) on their side with so many games in hand on the teams they are chasing. They also have five more head-to-head games remaining against the Blackhawks, the team they are directly chasing. Those games, combined with the games in hand, are going to present a great opportunity to make up a lot of ground in a hurry.
But games in hand and head-to-head matchups do not necessarily mean “wins” in hand or automatic four-point swings in your favor. You still have to take advantage of those games and get the results. Tuesday’s game was a good start as the Stars offense erupted with six different goal scorers and a huge game from forward Jason Robertston.
The line of Robertson, Hintz, and Kiviranta was especially dominant by scoring three goals during 5-on-5 play.
As for Chicago, this wraps up a tough 48-hour stretch that saw them blow a 3-0 lead against Tampa Bay and then never be competitive in this one. Since building that 3-0 lead in the second period against the Lightning on Sunday, the Blackhawks were outscored 12-1 over the next 90 minutes of hockey. They have exceeded expectations so far this season but might be starting to cool off a bit with a 4-4-1 record over their past nine games.
Patrick Kane, playing in his 1,000th career game, was held scoreless for Chicago.