Stars: Breaking Down Recent Dominance Against Hawks

Mar 22, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Dallas Stars right wing Patrick Eaves (18) is congratulated for scoring a goal during the first period against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Dallas Stars right wing Patrick Eaves (18) is congratulated for scoring a goal during the first period against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Stars have had their way with the Chicago Blackhawks this season. Take a deeper look at what all they have accomplished.

The Dallas Stars have had trouble beating the Chicago Blackhawks in past years. You’d have to go back to the 2010-11 season to see the last time the Stars won a season series, as they went 3-1-0 against the Hawks that year.

From 2011 to 2015, the Stars were a combined 5-8-4 against Chicago, with a mixture of overtime losses and straight up blowouts. However, they have found magic against the Hawks this season and completely turned the series around, finishing with a record of 4-1-0.

Take a look at the games from this season:

Dec. 22: Stars 4 Hawks 0

This was the first meeting of the year between the teams. With the Stars off to a hot 25-7-2 start, this game was expected to be entertaining, and it was–for one team at least.

The Stars took advantage of their noticeable edge, in terms of forward play, and used a power play goal from Jason Spezza in the first followed by a goal from former-Blackhawk Patrick Sharp in the third to create a 2-0 advantage, which grew to 4-0 after Colton Sceviour and Mattias Janmark added in.

Their defense was critical to the shutout as Antti Niemi only had to face 20 shots, all of which he saved. Overall, the team set the tone for a dominant season series as they used quickness and physical play to create energy and continued their incredible run through the first half of the season.

Feb. 6: Stars 1 Hawks 5

This was the one game that got away from the Stars during the series. They were just recently removed from eight losses in ten games and had built a three-game winning streak after beating the Colorado Avalanche, another team they had struggled against in past seasons.

After going down 1-0 in the first 34 seconds of the game, the Stars were never really able to recover. They cut the deficit to one later on in the period, thanks to Tyler Seguin, but the Blackhawks put on a vintage performance, led by 27-year-old Artem Anisimov who had four points in the game (1 goal, 3 assists).

Following this disappointing result, the Stars started up on another winning streak.

Feb. 11: Stars 4 Hawks 2

In the second win of the four-game winning streak, the Stars played in Chicago for the first time all season long.

In Patrick Sharp’s return to Chicago, it was another Patrick that had a career game. Patrick Eaves got on the scoring sheet just 3:19 into the game and that ultimately propelled him to a first period hat trick, scoring the third goal with just 15.6 left until first intermission.

Though the Stars eventually let off the gas a little and let the Blackhawks ease back into the game in the third, it was the early start that helped them pick up a key victory.

Mar. 11: Stars 5 Hawks 2

By this point in the season, things had tightened up atop the Central Division and Western Conference. With a heavyweight battle in the mix, the Stars knew they had to take care of business–and they did just that.

This game saw both Jamie Benn and Seguin break out of scoring slumps while Spezza scored a goal for the fifth-straight game.

With an emphatic win, the Stars were able to take control of the Western Conference with just one more game remaining in Chicago.

Mar. 22: Stars 6 Hawks 2

After completing a five-game homestead against some of the NHL’s best, the Stars, who had created a small gap between themselves and the rest of the West, went back on the road to face the Blackhawks.

It was deja vu for Dallas fans as the Stars took another 4-0 lead in the first period on even strength, power play and shorthanded goals. Even without Seguin, the team found scoring in their bottom two lines. In the process they managed to wear the Hawks out as they seemed a little sluggish all night long.

After another dominant win, the Stars were able to complete the season series against the Hawks and clinch a spot in the Playoffs for the first time since 2013-14.

Now that we’ve seen the damage that the Stars have done to the Blackhawks, let’s take a deeper look at how they did it.

The first, and most incredible, stat to bring up is the fact that the Stars had a 4-0 lead at some point in time during every win against the Hawks. Two of them came in the first period.

Next up, they held both Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to zero points in their Dec. 22, Mar. 11 and Mar. 22 wins. That’s pretty impressive considering that fact that this duo has combined for 142 points so far this season (64 goals, 78 assists).

By dominating on the ice, the Stars also had superior numbers on the stat sheets throughout the series:

  • Hits: 119 compared to 89
  • Takeaways: 38 compared to 24
  • Blocked Shots: 86 compared to 70
  • Penalty Minutes: 40 compared to 46
  • Shots: 165 compared to 147

Perhaps the most critical factor to success was special teams. The Stars went 6/21 on the power play while limiting the Blackhawks, who have the fifth-best power play in the NHL, to just 1/17.

More dfw sports: Who's In/Out For Stars Once The Defense Gets Healthy?

Overall, it was quite fun for Stars fans to watch their team play well against one of the faces of the NHL. With that in mind, the focus shifts to the Playoffs as the Chicago Blackhawks could be a potential opponent. Could the Stars repeat their regular season success in the postseason?