Dallas (2-1-3) at Chicago (5-1-1)

Fog Currently: Chicago, IL
Temp: 67° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EDT Sat Oct 17, 2009
  • TV: WGN
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Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Queneville insists there’s no goaltending controversy. Cristobal Huet(notes) remains the starter - for now.

Huet can help himself by building off a solid effort and leading the Blackhawks to their best start in 38 years Saturday night against the visiting Dallas Stars.

Despite signing a four-year contract worth $22.5 million before last season, Huet served largely as a backup to Nikolai Khabibulin(notes).

But when Khabibulin signed with Edmonton in the offseason, it seemed to clear the way for Huet to return as the unchallenged starter. The 34-year-old French native, though, gave up three goals in each of his first four games while winning once.

Huet was pulled early in the first period Monday after allowing three tallies in a 53-second span before Chicago rallied from a five-goal deficit with a stunning 6-5 overtime victory over visiting Calgary. Rookie Antti Niemi(notes), who replaced Huet, started two nights later in a home win over Edmonton.

Huet returned Thursday, making 12 saves in a 3-1 victory at Nashville. The only goal he allowed deflected in off Blackhawks’ defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson(notes).

“He got a good win,” Quenneville said. “He handled the puck well. I think it helped him and it helped us. There is no problem with Huet. I do not anticipate changing goaltenders.”

That would indicate Huet should start against the Stars (2-1-3), who he beat twice last season to improve to 2-1-0 with two ties and a 1.52 goals-against average all-time versus them.

Already off to their best start in 27 years, the Blackhawks (5-1-1) will attempt to win six of eight for the first time since beginning 7-1-0 in 1971-72. They’ll also try to post their first five-game win streak since a franchise-record nine in a row from Dec. 7-Dec. 28.

The Blackhawks couldn’t find a much better opponent in the Stars, who have lost four straight to Chicago in 2008-09—the first time in franchise history they were swept in the season series—and five of six at the United Center.

Patrick Kane(notes) enjoyed his greatest success against any opponent last season by totaling four goals and eight points against Dallas. The 2008 Calder Trophy winner has a team-best five goals and nine points as Chicago has averaged 3.71 goals per game.

Dallas suffered its first regulation loss of the season Friday, 3-0 at home to Boston. Marty Turco(notes), who recorded his first shutout of 2008-09 in Wednesday’s 6-0 rout of Nashville, allowed three goals in the first 28 minutes.

The Stars, who scored 20 goals in their first five games, were blanked for the first time since March 26.

“During the course of the season, you’ll have some games where everything goes right, and some games that are the opposite, and tonight fell into the latter category,” first-year Stars coach Marc Crawford said.

Instead of Turco, Dallas is expected to start Alex Auld(notes) on Saturday. He earned a win in his only start this season, a 5-2 victory in Calgary on Oct. 9.

He has not faced the Blackhawks since March 3, 2006 while with Vancouver and is 3-1-0 with a 2.20 GAA all-time against Chicago.

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Saturday, Oct 17