Hawks lose game, possibly Havlat

Martin Havlat went crashing into the end boards on a delayed penalty in the third period Friday night in Dallas and he limped on a painful right ankle to the Blackhawks dressing room, possibly a metaphor for the Hawks' playoff chances.

Two Stars' goals in 34 seconds late in the final period capped off a wild final five minutes that gave the Stars yet another victory over the Blackhawks.

The 5-4 loss was the ninth straight for the Hawks in Dallas.

In an almost surreal sequence, Havlat barely could get to the Hawks bench as Martin Lapointe, still on the delayed power play, barreled into the Dallas zone and scored to give the Hawks another lead they had squandered just 64 seconds earlier.

"I was just trying to make a move and pivot around the defenseman," Havlat said. "My skate got caught and I felt a little pop. Right now it feels sore. We'll see tomorrow."

X-rays were taken and more will be taken Saturday to see the the extent of the injury. Any prolonged absence would be a serious blow to the Hawks' postseason hopes.

Until he went awkwardly into the boards, Havlat wasn't noticeable much Friday, clearly playing his poorest game of the first seven.

Mike Ribeiro tied the game 4-4 with 1 minute 14 seconds left and Philippe Boucher hit the game-winner with only 39 seconds remaining.

It was a bit ironic that Havlat's worst game this season would come in Dallas, a team he has played well against in his career, scoring six goals and eight points in only five games. Friday he was a minus-1 with two shots on goal.

Havlat was certainly due to have an off-night after scoring a league-high 13 points in his first six games with the Hawks.

So it was even more impressive Friday that the Hawks carried a 3-1 lead into the third period despite being badly outshot, and with Havlat not contributing much.

Dallas took the lead in the first four minutes when Antti Miettinen had a shot go off his skate and past Brian Boucher.

But the Hawks responded with three straight goals from Lasse Kukkonen, Rene Bourque and Michael Holmqvist.

There is a reason why the Hawks haven't won in Dallas since March 7, 2001, and why the Stars are in first place in the Pacific Division and a perennial Western Conference power.

After going 0-for-8 on the power play, the Stars finally connected with Mike Modano taking advantage of a mix-up behind the Hawks net.

The goal cut the lead to 3-2 at 13:31 of the third period. It was tied less than a minute later when Jere Lehtinen redirected a Darryl Sydor shot past Boucher to make it 3-3.

All that did was set up a wild final five minutes.

After Havlat limped to the dressing room and Lapointe gave the Hawks a 4-3 lead, Dallas responded with its pair of goals in 34 seconds to deliver a crushing defeat.

The loss in the game is minimal, however, compared to the potential loss of Havlat.


Dallas' Niklas Hagman hit the crossbar on a penalty shot at 5:34 of the second period. ... The Stars outshot the Blackhawks 38-22.