Stars get their first look at Connor Bedard as they take on the Blackhawks

Coming off a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, the Dallas Stars return home to bring in the new year in front of the home crowd. Their long-time rival, the Chicago Blackhawks, is in town for two games starting tonight. This will be the first time the Stars will face the rookie phenom, Connor Bedard. He recently scored the game-winning goal against the Winnipeg Jets in OT Wednesday. Can the Stars shut him down tonight? Here are the three keys of the game tonight against the Blackhawks.

Mar 28, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy (5) and Dallas
Mar 28, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy (5) and Dallas / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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After losing to the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, the Stars are returning home to bring in the new year with the home crowd. The Stars will take on the Chicago Blackhawks for the next two games, starting tonight. This will be the first time the Stars will play against Connor Bedard, the number one overall draft pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. It will be interesting to see how the Stars will try and slow him down tonight. Here are the three keys of the game tonight against the Blackhawks.

Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks Preview: 3. Get a comfortable lead going into third period

The Stars need to find a way tonight to have a comfortable lead going into the third period. With the level Bedard is playing at right now, no third-period lead is safe against him. I know the Stars tend to play their best hockey when trailing going into the third period, but that can't happen tonight. Building a lead starts in the first period after the opening puck drop. If the Stars have a comfortable lead going into the final frame, they can spoil Bedard's AAC debut.

Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks Preview: 2. Shut down Connor Bedard

It should be no surprise who the Stars need to cover defensively tonight. Bedard is going to be a handful against the Stars tonight. He has 15 goals and 17 assists going into tonight's matchup against the Stars. Dallas cannot allow him to touch the puck in the Stars' zone tonight. He is a magician with the puck and can put Scott Wedgewood on his highlight reel. If the Stars can shut down Bedard tonight, they should win the game against the Blackhawks.

Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks Preview: 1. Get Pavelski and Sons going

If the Stars want to beat the Blackhawks tonight at home, Pavelski and Sons need to insert themselves into the game. Jason Robertson was the lone goal scorer against the Blues the other night, which was a good step in the right direction. The Stars need Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz to get on the scoresheet tonight. If the Stars can get the former top line back on the scoresheet tonight, they should beat the Blackhawks.