for this game

Richards posts five assists as Stars trounce Blackhawks

Feb 29, 2008 - 6:26 AM
By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DALLAS (Ticker) - What a way to endear yourself to your new team.

Brad Richards recorded a career-high five assists and Niklas Hagman posted his first career hat trick as the Dallas Stars skated to a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.

Dallas, which is rolling along on a 13-2-0 streak since the All-Star break, did not miss a beat after adding Richards on Tuesday in a five-player swap with the Tampa Bay Lightning at the trading deadline.

In winning their fourth straight, the Stars (41-22-5, 87 points) closed to within three points of the idle Detroit Red Wings (42-17-6, 90 points) for the overall lead in the NHL.

The 2004 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Richards matched a Stars' franchise record and also tied Dion Phaneuf of the Calgary Flames for the most assists in a game this season. The All-Star defenseman had five assists to lead the Flames to a 9-6 victory over the Lightning on December 13, 2007.

"It's an exciting start," Richards said. "I was so nervous and I wanted so badly to fit in and keep this thing going. It feels good that I came in and we didn't get a loss. We got a win and that's the main thing. It's a lot of fun to play with these guys."

Dallas coach Dave Tippett was proud of his team's newest acquisition.

"He's just a good player in all situations," Tippett said of Richards. "The biggest thing we talked about is he recognizes that we've got a pretty good team here (and) he wants to come in and fit in with our group.

"Tonight, he played all parts of the game. He played penalty kill, power play (and) that line with Hagman and (Antti) Miettinen was a great line for us, gave us great balance throughout the game. Our top three lines scored in the game, so that by-committee scoring, we're going to need it spread around and that makes us hard to play against."

Despite the loss, Chicago (30-28-6, 66 points) is still 7-3-1 in its last 11, but missed an opportunity to gain ground in the fierce battle for playoff positioning in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks remain six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, currently held by the Colorado Avalanche (33-26-6, 72 points).

"We made a lot of mental mistakes, and they capitalized on them," said defenseman Brent Seabrook, the only Chicago player to register a plus-1 rating. "Every rush they had, they put it in the back of the net. They're one of the best teams in the league for a reason. They keep coming at it hard."

Entering the second period with a 2-1 lead, Dallas erupted for three goals in the first seven minutes of the session - two of which were set up by Richards. Hagman's second goal of the game put the Stars up 3-1 at 2:47, as he finished off a pretty three-way passing play with a wrist shot from the slot.

"We talked before the game and he told me how he likes to work down low and cycle, and it worked really well," Hagman said. "He is more of a playmaker with a good shot and he's a threat all over the ice.

"I was really happy to get the hat trick, my first in the NHL. Maybe all of those goals, I had the easiest part - I just kept my stick on the ice. Obviously, he played well, we got some chemistry."

Less than two minutes later, Loui Eriksson connected for his sixth goal in the last four games, firing into an empty net after a slick cross-ice pass from captain Brenden Morrow.

Defenseman Trevor Daley finished off the barrage at 6:34 with his third goal of the season, beating goaltender Patrick Lalime with a wrister over the glove after receiving a feed from Richards on a 3-on-1 rush.

That spelled the end for Lalime, who surrendered five goals on 13 shots before being replaced by Corey Crawford.

"We had three mental mistakes in the second period," Blackhawks coach Denis Savard said. "You can't afford any mental mistakes, especially with a team like Dallas and the offense they have. If you do make those mistakes, they're going to end up in the back of your net."

Hagman's third of the game and 25th of the season, came off another feed from Richards at the 5:55 mark of the third.

"Haggy's going to the net hard and the one thing Brad can do, he finds him," Tippett said. "Some of those plays he made were unbelievable. It's good for our team to get some life and come out and play like that."

Richards' final assist came on a power-play goal by Jere Lehtinen with 3:11 left to play.

"Some pretty goals, a great start," Stars center Mike Modano said of Richards. "Bringing in an elite player, he's going to make everybody around him that much better.

"(As for) chemistry, I think talent and skill guys never have a hard time adjusting and coming in and fitting in on a team. If anything, they raise their level and everybody raises theirs right with them. Those type of players are few and far between that can make an impact like that."

The former Tampa Bay star made an immediate impact, setting up Hagman for the Stars' first goal just 4:57 into the game, tying the contest 49 seconds after Dustin Byfuglien staked the Blackhawks to an early power-play tally.

Modano gave the Stars the lead for good at 9:58 of the first, picking up a loose puck and cutting into the slot before wiring a fierce wrist shot over Lalime's glove.

For Richards, who waived his no-trade clause to come to Dallas, it was a storybook beginning to a new chapter.

"Hopefully I didn't (do) too much, expectations are going to get too high," Richards joked. "I know it's going to get harder, it was one of those nights that the guys were getting in the open. I just have to keep that excitement level up and who knows what's going to happen. I'm just so happy to be a part of this and hopefully it keeps going."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 1 0 3 4
    DALLAS 2 3 2 7 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 13 (CAM BARKER) 4:08
    DAL - NIKLAS HAGMAN 23 (BRAD RICHARDS, TREVOR DALEY) 4:57
    DAL - MIKE MODANO 18 (UNASSISTED) 9:58
    2ND PRD: DAL - NIKLAS HAGMAN 24 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, BRAD RICHARDS) 2:47
    D

    Feb 28 11:07 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 4
    DALLAS 7
    3RD PRD: CHI - RENE BOURQUE 8 (CRAIG ADAMS) 18:50

    Blackhawks 4, Stars 7  3rd - 1:10Feb 28 11:04 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 3
    DALLAS 7
    3RD PRD: DAL - (PP) JERE LEHTINEN 12 (BRAD RICHARDS, MIKE MODANO)
    16:49

    Blackhawks 3, Stars 7  3rd - 3:11Feb 28 11:04 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 3
    DALLAS 6
    3RD PRD: CHI - ANDREW LADD 10 (PETRI KONTIOLA, JASON WILLIAMS) 9:20

    Blackhawks 3, Stars 6  3rd - 10:40Feb 28 10:43 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 2
    DALLAS 6
    3RD PRD: DAL - NIKLAS HAGMAN 25 (BRAD RICHARDS, PHILIPPE BOUCHER) 5:55

    Blackhawks 2, Stars 6  3rd - 14:05Feb 28 10:33 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 2
    DALLAS 5
    3RD PRD: CHI - (SH) RENE BOURQUE 7 (UNASSISTED) 4:25

    Blackhawks 2, Stars 5  3rd - 15:35Feb 28 10:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 1 0 1
    DALLAS 2 3 5 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 13 (CAM BARKER) 4:08
    DAL - NIKLAS HAGMAN 23 (BRAD RICHARDS, TREVOR DALEY) 4:57
    DAL - MIKE MODANO 18 (UNASSISTED) 9:58
    2ND PRD: DAL - NIKLAS HAGMAN 24 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, BRAD RIC

    Feb 28 10:06 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    DALLAS 5
    2ND PRD: DAL - TREVOR DALEY 3 (BRAD RICHARDS, ANTTI MIETTINEN) 6:34

    Blackhawks 1, Stars 5  2nd - 13:26Feb 28 9:42 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    DALLAS 4
    2ND PRD: DAL - LOUI ERIKSSON 12 (BRENDEN MORROW, MIKE RIBEIRO) 4:41

    Blackhawks 1, Stars 4  2nd - 15:19Feb 28 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    DALLAS 3
    2ND PRD: DAL - NIKLAS HAGMAN 24 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, BRAD RICHARDS) 2:47

    Blackhawks 1, Stars 3  2nd - 17:13Feb 28 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 1 1
    DALLAS 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 13 (CAM BARKER) 4:08
    DAL - NIKLAS HAGMAN 23 (BRAD RICHARDS, TREVOR DALEY) 4:57
    DAL - MIKE MODANO 18 (UNASSISTED) 9:58
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- ---

    Feb 28 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    DALLAS 2
    1ST PRD: DAL - MIKE MODANO 18 (UNASSISTED) 9:58

    Blackhawks 1, Stars 2  1st - 10:02Feb 28 8:55 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    DALLAS 1
    1ST PRD: DAL - NIKLAS HAGMAN 23 (BRAD RICHARDS, TREVOR DALEY) 4:57

    Blackhawks 1, Stars 1  1st - 15:03Feb 28 8:48 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    DALLAS 0
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 13 (CAM BARKER) 4:08

    Blackhawks 1, Stars 0  1st - 15:52Feb 28 8:48 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Blackhawks vs. StarsFeb 22 4:21 PM