Rapid Reaction: Stars 5, Hawks 0

Here's a quick look at the Stars' 5-0 win over the Blackhawks on Thursday night.

How it happened: An even game changed when the Stars’ Steve Ott got behind a sleepy Hawks defense late in the first period for a breakaway goal. That momentum carried over to the second period in which Dallas scored twice in the first four minutes. Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith had rough nights. Seabrook got beat by Ott on the Stars’ first goal and then was caught up ice after his shot was blocked on the second goal. He took two penalties in the first 25 minutes as well. Keith negated a four-minute power play by taking a bad charging penalty while the Hawks power play did little damage when it was needed most. Corey Crawford was pulled after giving up three goals on 10 shots. He left early in the second. To add insult to injury, Marty Turco gave a puck away to Jason Williams, as Turco came far out of his net, allowing Williams an easy goal. Dallas added another one later in the third.

What it means: The race in the West just got tighter as the Stars tied the Hawks in points with 84, but by virtue of a 3-1 head to head record this season, Dallas would win that tie-breaker if it came down to it. The Hawks weren’t sharp and only got worse after they were scored upon in the first. The visitors came into the game plus-36 in goal differential while Dallas was minus-3. They’re plus-2 now. The Hawks got shutout for just the second time this season on a disastrous night for them where many of the Western Conference playoff contenders earned victories. It was the first time in a long while the Hawks played with little intensity from start to finish and the final score proved it.

Injury news: Bryan Bickell was a scratch coming down with an illness. The Hawks skated with 19 instead of the regular 20 players. It’s the first time this season they’ve played with less than 20 players.

What’s next: The Hawks leave for Arizona immediately following the game where they’ll have plenty of time to prepare for Sunday’s contest against the Coyotes. It’s another matchup with a Western Conference opponent very near them in the standings.