Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Versteeg gives Blackhawks shootout win over Stars

Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas, left, battles Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson for a loose puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO — Kris Versteeg scored in the fifth round of a shootout, leading the Chicago Blackhawks past the Dallas Stars 4-3 on Tuesday night.
Dallas' Loui Eriksson tied it at 3 with 3:50 left in regulation, scoring from just outside the crease following a turnover by Chicago.
Chicago had taken a 3-2 lead early in the final period on a goal by Troy Brouwer, who scored from the right circle after Marian Hossa fired the puck off the boards behind the net.
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane, center, takes the puck from behind his own net as goalie Antti Niemi and Dallas Stars left wing Loui Eriksson watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Mike Ribeiro and James Neal also scored in regulation for the Stars.
Patrick Kane had two first-period goals for the Blackhawks, his team-high 23rd and 24th of the season.
In the shootout, neither team could connect until Versteeg skated in and beat Marty Turco.
Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi, the backup to Cristobal Huet, started for the second game in a row and finished with 24 saves.
Niemi had stops on Mike Modano and Brad Richards on the power play in overtime to preserve the tie. Brenden Morrow's long shot was deflected into the net about a second after the horn sounded and the game went to a shootout.
Turco had 37 saves for the Stars, who made a trade during the game in which they acquired goaltender Kari Lehtonen from Atlanta and sent defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy and a fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft to the Thrashers.
Returning after missing 15 games with a throat injury, Ribeiro scored on a power play in the first. Fabian Brunnstrom dug the puck out from the boards, slid it to Neal in the right circle and he made a diagonal pass to a wide-open Ribeiro for the score.
Chicago tied it when Kane skated into the left circle and wristed a shot right past Turco. Dallas got the lead back with just under two minutes to go in the opening period when Neal scored his team-high 24th goal on a rebound.
But Kane answered quickly, circling from behind the net and ripping another shot from the right circle that eluded Turco to make it 2-2.
Turco preserved the tie in the second with a sprawling save of an attempt by Dustin Byfuglien on a breakaway with just over two minutes to go in the period.
NOTES: Ribeiro was accidentally struck in the throat by the stick of New York's Christopher Higgins in the Rangers' 5-2 victory on Jan. 6. He spent several days in a New York hospital after undergoing a tracheotomy. He was activated from injured reserve Monday ... Stars forward Steve Ott was scratched after an emergency appendectomy Monday. ... On a snowy night in Chicago, the crowd was announced at 21,446 — the Blackhawks 80th consecutive sellout at the United Center.


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