CHICAGO (AP) — Cody Eakin and the Dallas Stars traveled to Chicago three times this season, and each time they had to face the Blackhawks on the second part of games on consecutive days.
They found a way to grab the third one.
Eakin had two goals and an assist, and the Stars scored three times in the third period of a 6-3 victory over the slumping Blackhawks on Sunday.
“For us, we’re battling hard to try to climb up the ladder and we took it a period at a time and it was good to see the guys push through,” Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said.
Eakin had a short-handed goal in the first and a tiebreaking power-play score in the third as Dallas won for the third time in four games. The Stars (21-17-7) also earned their first victory of the season against the Blackhawks after they dropped their first three meetings.
“The game went back and forth,” Eakin said. “They started strong and we didn’t, then we picked up our socks. The third period was good, which we needed, and that’s the difference.”
Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist for Dallas, which was coming off a 5-4 victory over Washington on Saturday night. Seguin is tied with Rangers star Rick Nash for the NHL lead with 28 goals.
Chicago (28-15-2) dropped consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 1-2 against Toronto and Winnipeg. The Blackhawks, who lost 4-2 to Winnipeg on Friday night, are just 3-5 in January after they went 10-2-1 in December.
“We’re not happy,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Home games. Games that we’re expected to win. Teams that played the night before. Points that you’ve got to have. Divisional games. It shows you our division’s competitiveness.”
Brandon Saad scored two goals for Chicago, which had a 41-34 advantage in shots on goal. Saad has five goals and an assist in his last four games.
The Stars and Blackhawks were tied at 3 when Chicago defenseman Johnny Oduya was sent off for tripping Seguin at 1:22 of the third. Eakin then capped a nifty passing sequence for Dallas with a tap-in goal.
“At that time of the game, it’s a big power play,” Ruff said. “It’s a big goal for your team and gives us a little bit of momentum and it makes them gamble a little bit more. I think when you saw that you saw the odd-numbered rushes and you saw even better opportunities on our part.”
Erik Cole made it 5-3 when he finished off a 2-on-1 with Jason Spezza, and Shawn Horcoff added an empty-netter with a minute left. The six goals allowed were a season high for Chicago.
Vernon Fiddler also scored for Dallas, and Jamie Benn had three assists. Kari Lehtonen had 38 saves.
“We’re coming together here halfway through the year,” Jamie Benn said. “It’s just coming together as a team, playing good team defense and getting contribution from everyone.”
Patrick Kane scored his 21st goal for Chicago, and Corey Crawford finished with 28 stops.
“You’re going to have your moments across the season,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “We’re not going to overreact and make a huge deal or panic about anything. The same way we don’t get overconfident when things are going our way.”
The Blackhawks trailed 2-1 before they turned a strange play by Dallas defenseman Jordie Benn into the tying score. Benn was sent off for interference after he skated up to Marian Hossa from behind and flipped the forward’s stick out of his hands, all the way to the protective netting behind the Dallas net.
Saad scored on the resulting power play, tipping home a rebound after a long shot for Sharp. After Fiddler scored on his own rebound in the final minute of the first, Saad tied it again when he spun around and flung the puck past Lehtonen for his 15th goal at 7:13 of the second.
NOTES: The Stars and Blackhawks play again on March 21 in Dallas. … The Blackhawks scratched Daniel Carcillo, and the veteran forward is likely headed for a significant suspension after his illegal hit on Winnipeg’s Mathieu Perreault in the second period of Friday night’s 4-2 loss to the Jets. The NHL Department of Player Safety announced during Sunday’s game that Carcillo is scheduled for a phone hearing on Monday. … Stars D Trevor Daley missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury. … The crowd of 22,135 was the 300th consecutive sellout for the Blackhawks, including the playoffs.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.