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Blackhawks 5, Stars 2

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Third-period goals by Andrew Shaw and Niklas Hjalmarsson led the league-leading Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday night.

Shaw broke a 2-all tie by wristing Patrick Kane's pass by goaltender Richard Bachman 4:31 into the third period. Kane had drawn three Stars in his direction, leaving Shaw open for a clear shot.

Hjalmarsson added an insurance goal just over three minutes later, slapping the puck past Bachman from the high slot after Marian Hossa regained control and fed him a pass.

Hossa added an empty-net goal, his third point of the night, with 27 seconds to play.

Dallas, outplayed in the first period, had come back from a 2-0 deficit on a pair of goals by left wing Jamie Benn, the second 3:07 into the third period.

The Hawks, 8-0-1 in their last nine games, extended their winning streak to six games and stopped Dallas' at five games at a point when the Stars (21-18-3) desperately need points to climb back into a playoff spot. Their 45 points leaves them two short of the 47 needed to occupy a share of the final playoff positions in the Western Conference.

Chicago (33-5-4) extended its lead over Pittsburgh at the top of the NHL standings to six points, 70-64. The Hawks have an 11-point lead on Anaheim, the second-place team in the West, with six games remaining for each team.

Benn used Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith as a screen and threaded a hard wrist shot past goaltender Ray Emery to tie the game. But Shaw untied the game with his wrist shot, which Bachman fanned on, at 4:31.

The Hawks built their lead on Jonathan Toews' team-leading 21st goal of the season midway through the first period and a score by Viktor Stalberg midway through the second.

Toews stationed himself in traffic in the left slot and redirected Hossa's hard pass by Bachman 12:54 into the opening period.

While the Hawks squandered four power-plays -- running their futility total to their last 20 advantages -- Stalberg was able to break open during even-strength play at 12:14 of the second, beating Bachman with a wrist shot that slithered under the goalie's right arm.

Less than two minutes later, Benn wiped out Emery's chance for a fourth shutout by beating him between the legs from deep in the right-wing circle. The goal was set up by Ray Whitney's steal from Kane near the Chicago blue line.

Emery made 16 saves in picking up his 16th win of the season. Bachman made 23 stops in falling to 6-4-0.

Notes: Dallas' five-game winning streak entering the game was built after the trade deadline and the departure of Jaromir Jagr, Brenden Morrow and Michael Ryder. ... The Stars have Vancouver, St. Louis and Los Angeles, all scrapping for playoff position, in the next three games. ... Chicago forward Patrick Sharp missed his second straight game after a tweak to his injured shoulder against Detroit on Friday. ... Dallas lost right wing Alex Chiasson to an upper-body injury in his first shift of the second period. The Stars already had Lane MacDermid (upper body) and goaltender Kari Lehtonen (lower body) sidelined -- Lehtonen for the third game in succession. ... Hobey Baker Trophy winner Drew LeBlanc, signed by the Blackhawks to a one-year contract on Friday, was in the building but did not dress. "Hopefully we get a chance to get him in there," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said before the game. LeBlanc can't play in the playoffs because he was signed after the trading deadline. ... There was a moment of silence before the game to honor those killed and injured in the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
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