Blackhawks' best look to keep rolling in Dallas


Blackhawks' best look to keep rolling in Dallas

DALLAS Dallas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan sees the Chicago Blackhawks lineup and the threats among it. There are a few.

We see their big guys are their best players, Gulutzan said after the Stars morning skate. And thats dangerous, because there are a lot of them.

The Blackhawks will be looking to get more out of their best and everyone else when they take on the Stars tonight at the American Airlines Center. For the Blackhawks, yes, the best have indeed been that. But a team effort has gotten them off to a 3-0-0 start.

Thats the biggest reason for our success: a lot of depth, a lot of contributions from everywhere, Patrick Kane said. One of the things about the core group is they want to be the guys to help carry the team. From the top players, thats where it starts, and the rest of the guys are following. But its not just the top guys in here. Everyones going. So Id say thats the scariest part.

Coach Joel Quenneville has been happy with the four-line aspect.

Were getting good contributions across the board, he said. When your best are your best, youre going to be OK. We have balance in four lines.

The Stars are off to a good start themselves, with just one loss to the Minnesota Wild thus far. The Stars have gotten most of their production from their most veteran guys, 40-year-olds Ray Whitney (1-2-3) and Jaromir Jagr (2-2-4).

Corey Crawford gets the start for the Blackhawks, Kari Lehtonen for the Stars. There are likely to be any other lineup changes for the Blackhawks. Michal Rozsival looks to stay in among the defenseman. Jamal Mayers will be a healthy scratch again. The veteran brought a great physical edge to the Blackhawks when he signed on with them last season, and you can never have enough of that presence. But Quenneville said Mayers will get back into the lineup at some point.

Everybodys going to play and things change quickly, he said. We like his experience, the leadership qualities and he brings intensity. What he brings to our team is valuable. Whether hes playing or not, hes an important piece to our team. But Jammers going to get in here before you know it.

Fast Break Morning Update: Scott Darling leads Blackhawks to win over Blues

Fast Break Morning Update: Scott Darling leads Blackhawks to win over Blues

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Sunday:

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

White Sox pitchers headed for World Baseball Classic look sharp in win over Rockies

What if… Cubs GM Jed Hoyer’s takeaways from epic World Series Game 7

Quick hits: Blackhawks start strong in win over Blues

Illini keep NCAA tournament hopes afloat with dominant win over Nebraska

White Sox: Happy with progress, Brett Lawrie tries to clear final hurdles

How Indians regrouped and reloaded after losing unforgettable Game 7 to Cubs

Jim Thome: Getting into baseball Hall of Fame would be indescribable

Kurt Busch steals a monster of a win in Daytona 500

Michigan State gets big win to boost tourney hopes, while Wisconsin loses for fourth time in five games




Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Scott Darling found out at 8 o'clock this morning that he was starting for an ailing Corey Crawford. Considering he did this back in December for a few weeks, adjusting quick for one game was fine.

"It's kind of my job," Darling said.

And Darling, once again, did his job.

Darling stopped 30 of 32 shots and Patrick Kane scored his 24th goal of the season as the Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday night. The Blackhawks have won nine of their last 10 games. They're one point behind the Minnesota Wild, who made their splashy trade-deadline move in acquiring Martin Hanzal on Sunday. But the Blackhawks, thanks to veterans regaining their form, a top line finding its rhythm and youth consistently improving, are just rolling right along.

"We had a great start to the game. I thought Darls was excellent all night, great stretch there in the last 10 minutes where we fight through some tough shifts, particularly in the last couple of minutes in our end. But good win," coach Joel Quenneville said. "You look at the nice plays on the goals, it was kind of a comparable ending to the outdoor game: tied and about the same time they scored, we scored (tonight). Big two points for us."

Jonathan Toews scored his 16th of the season and Artem Anisimov scored the game-winning goal with 5:20 remaining in regulation. Tanner Kero added an empty-net goal with 2.6 seconds remaining in the game.

The Blackhawks already knew they'd be without Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) for at least a day or two when they found out Crawford couldn't go this morning. As Quenneville said Darling was strong once again, denying the Blues all but twice (a 2-on-1 goal from Magnus Paajarvi and a power-play goal from Alex Pietrangelo).

Toews and Kane (power-play goal) staked the Blackhawks to a 2-0 lead early before the Blues tied it in the second. But late in the third period Anisimov took the feed from Artemi Panarin to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead.

"I saw the puck all the way. It was easy to pick up," Anisimov said. "When you don't see the puck at the last moment and it comes, it's hard to receive and prepare for the next move. But I saw it all the way. Easy to prepare for the next move."

Speaking of next moves, do the Blackhawks make any more before the trade deadline. General manager Stan Bowman said on Friday, following the acquisition of Tomas Jurco, that he'll keep talking and listening but likes the group he has right now. If Bowman's made moves it's for what the Blackhawks have needed, not because of another team's trades. The Blackhawks like what they have right now. Winning nine of 10 and continuing to trend in the right direction, they should be careful not to disrupt what they've got going.

"I think we're, as we've said lately, trending the right way. We're playing solid. I think all four lines are contributing in every which way," Toews said. "I love our group right now. Everyone is getting better individually, contributing more and more and it's a lot of fun to see the way we're playing right now. We know that the ceiling is way higher and we can keep getting better too."