DALLAS–Ken Hitchcock’s 800th career win came against one of only two NHL coaches with more.Tyler Seguin scored two goals in the second period, Ben Bishop earned his 22nd career shutout and the Dallas Stars beat the Blackhawks 4-0 on Thursday night to help Hitchcock reach another milestone.After the game, he was quickly congratulated by Hawk counterpart Joel Quenneville, who ranks second on the career list with 868 coaching wins.”Congratulations from Joel means more than anything,” Hitchcock said. ”We’ve had so much mutual respect from each other and helped each other along the way when we were both kind of in the down and outs. Coming from him, it means more than the number.”
Bishop made 24 saves for his third shutout of the season. Jamie Benn scored the only goal of the first period, and Antoine Roussel scored barely a minute into the second before Seguin’s two goals made it 4-0.
”(Hitchcock) has coached so many games, you want to do good for him,” Roussel said, ”and you want to pick up as many things as you can from him. The details and the preparation from the game make us better.”
Dallas had lost its previous three games and the Hawks arrived with a five-game winning streak, but the Stars improved to 3-0 against the Blackhawks this season. Dallas moved two points ahead of Chicago in the Central Division.
”The other two were closer. It’s tough to lose in overtime or shootout, but tonight we just got embarrassed,” Brandon Saad said. ”These divisional games are huge.”
Corey Crawford stopped 18 shots. He won all five games during the Blackhawks’ streak, allowing only seven goals. Crawford hadn’t lost in regulation since Nov. 12.The Blackhawks dominated early. They had the best scoring chance at 11:44 of the first period when Connor Murphy’s wrist shot hit Bishop in the chest. On the rebound, the puck sat in the paint with an easy chance for Patrick Kane, but his tap-in hit the right post.
”Get some posts and some big blocks by the guys, especially, we were up 4-0 on the power play and we had four or five blocks,” Bishop said.
Quenneville viewed Benn’s goal at 17:11 of the first period as a turning point.
”We had a couple of really good looks in the first period. It really hurt us, two posts in the first period that could have put us in a better spot. I thought we lost a lot of gas when they did score,” he said.
The Stars blocked 29 shots. Dan Hamhuis led the team with five blocks and had two assists.