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Blackhawks Left Reaching For Stars

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Jordan Hendry

Jordan Hendry (photo credit: Getty Images)

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(WSCR) – The Chicago Blackhawks struggled to score against the Dallas Stars. They pulled it together to tie in the second period, but could only come close in the third.

CHICAGO (AP) Mike Ribeiro broke a tie midway through the second period with his second power-play goal of the game and the Dallas Stars beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Wednesday night.

Ribeiro scored at 9:14 when his shot from the right circle struck Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson’s right knee and caromed over rookie goalie Corey Crawford’s glove.

Dallas’ Brenden Morrow also had a power-play goal as the Stars went 3 for 3 with the man advantage and ran their road winning streak to six. Steve Ott added a short-handed, empty-net goal.

Fernando Pisani and Tomas Kopecky scored for Chicago, 1-4-0 in its last five games. The Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks dropped to 12-11-0 at the United Center, where they were 29-8-4 last season, and are 3-8-1 when tied after two periods.

Dallas’ Kari Lehtonen made 35 saves, and Crawford stopped 18 shots.

Chicago’s Viktor Stalberg narrowly missed on a penalty shot with 7:07 left in the second period and the game tied at 2. He beat Lehtonen with a backhand attempt, but the puck clanked of the right post, the crossbar and then the left post before bounding away from the net.

The Blackhawks came out flat and undisciplined in the first period, and the Stars pounced on Chicago’s shaky play and 25th-ranked penalty killing to take a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Morrow tucked in a power-play goal just 2:46 into the first, and 46 seconds after Kopecky was sent off for hooking during a sloppy shift. Crawford stopped Matt Niskanen’s shot from the top of the slot, but Morrow converted the rebound from the right side of the crease.

Ribeiro’s screened tip-in just under 5 minutes later – with Chicago’s Brian Campbell off for slashing – made it 2-0. Ribeiro redirected Brad Richard’s drive from the left circle over Crawford.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quennevile called a timeout immediately after the goal.

The Blackhawks bounced back in the second to tie it.

Pisani cut it to 2-1 at 9:35 when his shot from the slot struck the tip of Lehtonen’s glove and fluttered into the net.

Kopecky tied it just over 2 minutes later, using a strong second effort to convert his own rebound.

Lehtonen made a pad save on Kopecky’s first shot, fired off Patrick Kane’s centering pass. Kopecky, however, fought through two Dallas defenders and slid in the loose puck.

Stalberg was awarded his penalty shot after being pulled down from behind by Nicklas Grossman.

With Dallas ahead 3-2, Lehtonen made a desperate stick save on Chicago’s Brent Seabrook with just over 2 minutes left.

NOTES: Stalberg hasn’t scored since Nov. 14. … Chicago’s healthy scratches were D Nick Boynton, RW Jack Skille and C Jake Dowell. … Dallas C Toby Petersen sat out with a lower-body injury and D Marc Fistric was a healthy scratch.

Updated January 5, 2011

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