CHICAGO (AP) – One more point could provide a big lift for the Dallas Stars.
They get another chance on Saturday night.
Dallas playoff road remains muddled after it lost 6-1 to Chicago on Friday night. Patrick Kane scored twice in the Blackhawks home finale, and Cam Ward made 25 saves in his 700th NHL game.
The Stars (42-32-7) clinched their first postseason trip in three years with Tuesday nights 6-2 victory over Philadelphia, but they need one more point to secure the Western Conferences top wild card.
The Stars host Minnesota in their season finale, and Colorado is just one point back heading into its final game at San Jose later Saturday night.
Finishing on top of the wild-card standings would mean a first-round matchup with the winner of the Central Division, which remains up in the air heading into the final day of the season. The second wild card will take on Calgary in the opening round.
“Wed like to stay in our own division because its less travel,” Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said. “So its important tomorrow that we come out and play a lot better than we did tonight.”
Dylan Strome, Chris Kunitz and Dominik Kahun also scored for Chicago, which earned its second straight win and improved to 3-0-2 in its past five. Slater Koekkoek added his second of the season, and Brent Seabrook had two assists.
“This was a nice way to finish the season here,” Kane said.
Joel LEsperance scored for Dallas in the third period, and Anton Khudobin made 26 stops.
The Stars played without captain Jamie Benn, goaltender Ben Bishop, forward Mats Zuccarello and defenseman Roman Polak, who all skipped the trip to Chicago. Bishop remained sidelined by a lower-body injury, and Benn, Zuccarello and Polak got a chance to rest.
“Well get over this pretty quick,” forward Tyler Seguin said. “I think everyone was kind of focused on next week maybe tonight.”
The 35-year-old Ward became the 28th goaltender to reach 700 games when he came in after Corey Crawford departed in the second with a groin injury. He made a point-blank save on Seguin in the final minute of the period.
Chicago (36-33-12) grabbed control with four goals in a span of six shots overlapping the second and third periods.
Kahun kicked it off when he poked a rebound through Khubobins legs at 11:11. Then Kunitz was awarded his fifth goal when a replay review showed his bouncing shot just crossed the line before it was swept away. Strome added his 20th of the season when he made the most of a fortunate deflection with 2:09 left in the second, and Koekkoek made it 5-0 with a sharp-angled shot 44 seconds into the third.
It was Kunitzs fifth goal in his 15th NHL Read More – Source