Stars-Blackhawks Preview

Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars

Friday October 7, 2011

7:30 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

After missing the playoffs for a third straight season the Stars have a different look behind the bench and several new faces on the roster. Glen Gulutzan, who had coached Dallas’ AHL affiliate the past two seasons, takes over as head coach.

With Brad Richards departing via free agency, the Stars signed several players to bolster the team’s depth. Among the additions: forwards Michael Ryder, Vernon Fiddler, Radek Dvorak and Jake Dowell and defensemen Sheldon Souray and Adam Pardy.

“It’s been a big turnaround and that can be kind of scary at times,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow. “New systems, new structure but we’ve been through that before. If preseason is any indication, I think we caught on pretty quick. We all believe in each other, we all believe in Gully and the things he has been preaching all camp. So far we’ve had success with it.”

Kari Lehtonen will start in goal for Dallas.

Injuries: RW Adam Burish (groin) is questionable. D Nicklas Grossman (groin) and D Adam Pardy (rib) are out.

About the Blackhawks

After winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks barely made it into the playoffs last season and then lost in the first round to eventual Western Conference champion Vancouver. In the offseason the Blackhawks made moves to beef up their lower lines and add some grit by adding players like forwards Daniel Carcillo and Jamal Mayers and defenseman Steve Montador. They also brought in some skill with forward Andrew Brunette.

“I think with everybody we brought in, we’ve got more experience in the locker room,” said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville. “We expect these guys to be part of the leadership group and contribute in that way.”

No official word on a Chicago starting goalie, but Corey Crawford is the No. 1 guy.

Injuries: C Dave Bolland (upper body), LW Viktor Stalberg (leg) and RW Ben Smith (concussion) are out. So is Daniel Carcillo (suspension).

Series notes

*The Stars were 3-1-0 against Chicago last season.

*The Blackhawks were 1-2-1 against the Stars last season.

*The Stars are 96-116-34 all-time against Chicago.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars were 6-1-0 in preseason.

*Stars center Mike Ribeiro led the NHL in preseason points (10) and assists (8).

*Michael Ryder and Loui Eriksson scored three goals each in the preseason to lead Dallas.

*Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen was 2-0-0 with a 1.86 goals against average and .948 save percentage in the preseason.

*Chicago was 2-4-1 in the preseason.

*Brandon Pirri led Chicago in preseason goals (4) and points (5).

*Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford was 2-1-0 with a 2.67 goals against average and .901 save percentage.