(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks hope to continue their recent surge when they visit the Dallas Stars for Saturday's battle at American Airlines Center.
The Blackhawks have won four straight and have yet to lose in regulation this month, posting a 6-0-1 record in March. The club also owns an 8-1-1 mark over its last 10 games, the last nine of which have come without the services of star winger Patrick Kane, who is out for at least the remainder of the regular season with a shoulder injury.
Chicago's recent run has the club within two points of Nashville for second place in the Central Division and four behind division-leading St. Louis. The Predators host Buffalo on Saturday, while the Blues are visiting Minnesota.
The current win streak is the second longest of the season for Joel Quenneville's club, which won a season-best eight in a row from Nov. 26-Dec. 11.
The Blackhawks avenged their only loss of the month the last time out, edging the New York Rangers, 1-0, on Wednesday. Chicago had lost 1-0 in overtime to a visiting New York club on March 8, but exacted revenge for that loss with the recent road triumph.
Scott Darling halted all 25 shots he faced to post his first career shutout and former Rangers forward Brad Richards scored the lone goal.
"I'm just thrilled; it's an amazing stage to [get a shutout] at Madison Square Garden," Darling said. "It feels great to just get back in the net and do my job. This is one of the most famous arenas in the world."
Chicago's No. 1 goaltender Corey Crawford is expected to be back between the pipes tonight. He is 11-6-0 with a 2.59 goals against average in his career versus the Stars.
The Blackhawks began a four-game road trip on Wednesday and have won three straight as the guest. Chicago is 21-12-1 as the visiting club this season and has won seven in a row in Dallas.
The Stars have lost 11 of the last 13 overall meetings versus the Blackhawks, but did halt a five-game slide in the series with a 6-3 win in Chicago on Jan. 18.
Although Dallas' playoff chances are minuscule at this point of the season, the club has won six of its last eight games. Despite the run, the Stars are eight points behind Winnipeg for the last wild card spot in the West with only 11 games left on their schedule.
The Stars have split the first two tests of a four-game homestand, following a 3-0 loss to St. Louis on Sunday with Thursday's 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh.
Brett Ritchie and Jamie Benn scored within 83 seconds of each other in the second period to help the Stars edge the Penguins. Kari Lehtonen made 31 saves for win.
"I thought it was a good win by our club," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "I thought we really came out well, a real strong 40 (minutes). That third period was a pretty hard push by them. We have to get by that, which I thought we did tonight."
Dallas improved its home record to 14-14-8. It will close this homestand Monday against Buffalo,