No rest for the Dallas Stars as they take on the Chicago Blackhawks tonight

Jake Oettinger made his first start in a month last night in the 6-3 loss to the Nashville Predators. He looked good in his first game back, but the team didn't show up last night and help him. They can't look back and wonder what happened because they take on the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. Here are the three keys of the game tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Dec 31, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard (98) and Dallas Stars
Dec 31, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard (98) and Dallas Stars / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Stars didn't help out Jake Oettinger and ended up losing 6-3 to the Nashville Predators last night. They don't have much time to reflect on what happened as a team because they play the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. Even though the Blackhawks don't have Connor Bedard in the lineup tonight, they can't think they have the game in the bag tonight. Chicago still has a good team and would like to hand Dallas a second straight loss. Here are the three keys of the game tonight against the Blackhawks.

Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks Preview: 3. Defense wins championships

The Stars don't know the slogan "defense wins championships" because it was non-existent last night. If the Stars want to make the playoffs again this season, they need to play defense. There is no way around it in the NHL. The Predators scoring six goals against the Stars last night is unacceptable. Look at the tweet that I posted after the game last night. The entire team was a defensive liability last night. If the Stars want to steal two points on the road tonight, they must play defense.

Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks Preview: 2. Shut down Jason Dickinson

This one stings to write because Jason Dickinson was one of my favorite players when he was with Dallas. If the Stars want to beat the Blackhawks tonight, they must shut him down. Dickinson has 14 goals and seven assists going into the matchup against Dallas. With Bedard out of the lineup tonight, Dickinson will likely lead the offense. The Stars cannot allow him to touch the puck when he is near Scott Wedgewood tonight. If the Stars can shut down Dickinson from getting revenge on his former team, they will steal two points on the road.

Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks Preview: 1. Win by any means tonight

The Stars can't afford to lose tonight if they want to improve their playoff seeding. It seems like the Stars are getting cozy with third place in the Central Division. We would play the Avalanche in the first round if the season ended tonight. The Stars wouldn't have home-ice advantage in the first round, and it wouldn't be a good thing. The Stars need to improve their playoff seed if they want to make a deep run in a loaded Western Conference this year. Winning against the Blackhawks would be a good step forward for the Stars.

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