Blackhawks-Stars Preview

The Associated Press

The Chicago Blackhawks are steamrolling opponents with a high-powered offense led by a red-hot top line.

They'll look to do the same in Dallas on Saturday night in their first divisional matchup with the Stars, whom they easily swept in last season's three games.

Chicago (10-2-4) ranks among the league leaders with 3.4 goals per game, recording four or more in each victory during a 4-0-1 stretch. The Blackhawks also have five goals in each of their last three on the road, where they're 5 for 18 on the power play (27.8 percent) thus far compared to a 17.9 percent success rate at home.

They've won three straight in Dallas and five of six in the series overall, including the three matchups in the 2013 season by a 16-5 margin. It was Chicago's first sweep of the series since 2008-2009.

Patrick Kane has 29 points in 22 career matchups with the Stars after tallying five assists and a goal last season. Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa each had four goals and two assists, with Toews pushing his point total to 24 in 20 career matchups.

Toews and Hossa - along with Patrick Sharp - have anchored a top line that has totaled 18 points over the club's last five games. The trio registered three points in Wednesday's 4-1 win over Winnipeg as Kane scored his team-leading ninth goal while defenseman Duncan Keith registered his eighth assist in eight games - increasing his team-best total to 12.

"We've had a couple games where we didn't click as much as we want to, but I think we got back to where we support each other, being in the right areas, and you saw the chances we got," Toews said. "The more we do that, the more chances we get to score."

Dallas (8-6-2) went undefeated on a three-game trip, earning shootout wins over Ottawa and Boston before a 4-3 overtime victory in Detroit on Thursday. Rich Peverley scored the winner at the 4:41 mark as the Stars improved to 4-2 in overtime and shootouts. Chicago is 0-2 in games settled in overtime and 2-2 in shootouts.

"We've had a lot of overtime games so far this year," Peverley said. "You need to be able to get points in any way."

Cody Eakin forced the extra period with a power-play goal with 1:10 remaining in the third. Dallas entered with only one power-play goal on 21 opportunities over its last seven games and has converted 13.5 percent of its chances on the season.

But coach Lindy Ruff isn't necessarily alarmed by his team's struggles on the advantage.

"We had a really good power play in the first period. (Tyler ) Seguin rattled the post again," Ruff said. "I don't want to create more pressure for them. Let's try to keep it simple."

Jamie Benn, who has a goal in each of his last two games, has eight points over his last six matchups with Chicago.

Blackhawks center Michal Handzus, who has missed six games with an upper-body injury, didn't practice Friday.