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Blackhawks complete series sweep of Stars
At this rate, the Blackhawks may want to stay on the road.
Continuing their impressive play away from the United Center, the Hawks completed a sweep of a three-game trip Saturday with a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.
The Hawks, who have played 11 of their last 12 games on the road, won for the fourth consecutive game overall and for the eighth time of those 11 road games to improve to 19-11-3 away from home.
"We figured that we had to play solid if we wanted to separate ourselves from the rest of the teams," said goaltender Cristobal Huet, who made 30 saves in his fifth consecutive start. "We still have to play good at home, work harder than the others teams and play like we've been playing on the road."
James Wisniewski, Patrick Kane and Matt Walker scored the first three goals of the game and Huet and the Hawks held off the Stars to complete a four-game season sweep of Dallas before a crowd of 18,584. The Hawks outscored Dallas 20-8 in the four games for their first-ever sweep of the Stars, who had been hot with victories in 10 of their previous 13 games.
"On this trip I thought we had three rock-solid performances and [Saturday] we're extremely happy with the way we played," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "All facets of our game were in order."
Wisniewski scored his second goal of the season early in the first period. With the Hawks on a power play, he took a pass from Martin Havlat and fired a one-timer from the top of the right circle past Dallas goaltender Marty Turco.
Midway through the second Kane pounced on a loose puck near the Dallas goal and scored his 19th of the season. Then defenseman Matt Walker scored his first in the waning seconds of the period with a shot from just inside the blue line as Turco had to deal with the Hawks' Ben Eager providing traffic in front.
Huet, who was coming off a 4-0 shutout Thursday night at Florida, lost his bid for his second consecutive blanking when Steve Ott beat him off a partial breakaway midway through the third.
The Stars had some momentum, but Huet came up with his biggest save of the game when he stopped Fabian Brunnstrom from in close with just more than three minutes remaining. The veteran net-minder improved his record to 17-10-3.
"We played very sound hockey," Huet said. "They had some chances and we had some. Scoring first was a big boost."
After hosting the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night, the Hawks go back on the road Tuesday night to take on the Predators in Nashville. Then they have 16 of their final 23 games at home, where they are 15-4-5.
"Things have been going good on the road so we might as well keep that going," defenseman Brian Campbell said. "Two more games and then we get back home for a while."