Blackhawks still find themselves at a loss

The Blackhawks might want to check their list of New Year's resolutions because it appears winning games isn't on it.

The Hawks still haven't won in January as they fell for the sixth straight time in the month and seventh overall Wednesday night, this time 3-1 to the Dallas Stars before a crowd of 15,469 at the United Center.

"We're there in every game and it's one bad break, one bad bounce that seems to get us," said Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, who played a game-high 29 minutes 1 second. "I think we just have to continue to stay focused for a full 60 [minutes] and shore those things up."

Wednesday night's bad break was Stu Barnes' short-handed goal with 6:04 remaining in the third period, which gave the Stars a 2-1 lead. With teammate Brenden Morrow in the penalty box for hooking, Barnes fired a slap shot from the blue line that eluded Hawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.

"We have to stick with it here," coach Denis Savard said. "It's easy to get frustrated, no question. We're a young group; we have to learn. We need to continue to stay the course here and not get frustrated. It's easy to get frustrated [and] it's easy to get negative."

The Hawks took a 1-0 lead when Robert Lang tipped in a Duncan Keith shot on the power play for his 15th goal of the season at 6:09 of the first period. After Loui Eriksson tucked in a shot past Khabibulin while the Stars were on a power play at 18:27 to tie it 1-1, the Hawks had a golden opportunity to take the lead.

Rookie Patrick Kane was awarded his first career penalty shot at 11:47 of the second period. Kane drew the penalty while on a breakaway when defensemen Sergei Zubov hooked him as he broke in on Stars goalie Marty Turco.

On the penalty shot, Kane stickhandled in on Turco and tried to beat him with a backhand shot that went just wide.

"It was a big turning point," Kane said. "It could be 2-1 us. Instead, it was 1-1 and they got the momentum. I wish I had the shot back, but you can't do anything about it now."

It was the 10th time in his career Turco has faced a penalty shot, and the veteran has stopped nine of them.

"I tried to take what the goalie gave me and tried to pull it to my backhand and I thought I had him, but I just didn't get the shot where I wanted so it didn't go in," Kane said. "It's tough right now. We can't seem to find a way to win and we have to start bearing down."

Morrow's empty-net goal with 38 seconds remaining closed out the scoring. Veteran center Mike Modano assisted on all three of the Stars' goals.

The defeat dropped the Hawks below .500 at 19-20-4, a record that has them in 13th place in the Western Conference. The winless January has put the Hawks' postseason aspirations in jeopardy as they are at home only three of the 13 games they play in February.

"I'm not giving up, nobody's giving up," Savard said. "Whether it's this year [to make the playoffs], we hope it is. If it's not, we have to continue the process we're on and stick with what we're doing and get better."

ckuc@tribune.com

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