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Versteeg's goal, Khabibulin's 31 saves lead Blackhawks past Stars

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Versteeg's goal, Khabibulin's 31 saves lead Blackhawks past Stars

The Canadian Press
By:

DALLAS - Kris Versteeg scored the tiebreaking power-play goal with 30 seconds left in the second period, and Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 31 shots to help the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Dallas Stars 6-3 on Thursday night.

Patrick Kane had a pair of goals for the Blackhawks, who were winless in three of their previous four, and Martin Havlat, Ben Eager and Brian Campbell added goals.

With the score tied 3-3 in the closing seconds of the second period, Versteeg sped around three Stars and skated to the front of the net, beating Dallas goalie Marty Turco for Versteeg's seventh goal of the season.

Havlat fired a shot past a screened Turco at 6:40 of the third period to extend the lead to 5-3, and Kane added an empty-netter with 15.9 seconds left.

The 35-year-old Khabibulin has been the subject of trade speculation, but has been the Blackhawks' best goalie early this season. He improved his record to 6-1-4.

Khabibulin kept it tied in the first period when Dallas held a 14-7 shots edge.

Brenden Morrow, Mike Modano and rookie James Neal scored for the slumping Stars, who failed in a bid for their first consecutive victories of the season. Modano has 534 career goals, extending his record for U.S.-born players.

Morrow's rebound put the Stars in front at 7:37 of the opening period.

Dallas dominated the initial 13 minutes of the opening period with a 10-1 shots-on-goal edge. But Chicago tied it 1-1 with 37 seconds left in the first period on Kane's wrister from the left circle.

Chicago went in front 2-1 at 6:44 of the second period when Eager skated in alone and beat Turco from the right circle, but Dallas tied it at 2 on Modano's power-play goal at 7:50 of the second period.

Campbell answered for the Blackhawks with a man-advantage goal at 9:08 of the second period for a 3-2 advantage.

Neal pulled Dallas even at 3 on a rebound at 16:06 of the second period.

Notes: The Stars have lost six of their last eight. ... RW Jere Lehtinen, Dallas' best defensive forward, was scratched and will be out a week and a half with what the club termed an "upper-body" injury. Lehtinen missed the first 14 games because of a groin injury, played in three games, and then sustained a different injury. ... D Darryl Sydor played his first game with the Stars this season after being acquired in a trade with Pittsburgh on Sunday. It is Sydor's third stint with the Stars. ... Chicago had lost 10 of its previous 11 road games against Dallas.

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Versteeg's goal, Khabibulin's 31 saves lead Blackhawks past Stars