Patrick Kane scored twice, and Chicago got goals from five different players as the Blackhawks rolled to a 6-1 thumping of the visiting Dallas Stars on Friday, keeping their Central Division rivals from clinching the first wild-card spot in the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs. The Stars (42-32-7, 91 points) have already sewn up a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2016, but they need one point in their final game, at home on Saturday against Minnesota, to secure the seventh overall seed in the Western Conference.
Chicago (36-33-12, 84 points) was eliminated from the postseason on Tuesday and will miss the playoffs for a second straight season. Kane gave the Blackhawks the lead with 3:15 to play in the first period when he carried the puck into the offensive zone on the rush and beat Dallas goaltender Anton Khudobin with a heavy wrister.
Chicago added to its lead just past midway through the second period as Dominik Kahun pounced on the rebound of a shot from Brandon Saad. Less than two minutes later Chris Kunitz lit the lamp as his shot barely completely crossed the goal line and survived a video review to push the Chicago lead to 3-0. The Blackhawks continued their domination with a third goal in the second period as Dylan Strome waited unchecked on the doorstep for a perfect pass from Erik Gustafsson from behind the net to increase the Chicago lead to 4-0 with 2:09 to play in the period.
Slater Koekkoek beat Khudobin in the opening minute of the third period after passes from Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews. Joel L'Esperance recorded the lone Dallas goal at the 7:18 mark of the third period before Kane countered with his second goal on a breakaway with 3:49 remaining.
Chicago starting goalkeeper Corey Crawford was forced from the game six minutes into the second period with a groin injury. Crawford stopped all nine shots he faced before being replaced by Cam Ward. Ward had 25 saves over the final period and a half. Dallas played without forwards Jamie Benn and Mats Zuccarello, defenseman Roman Polak and netminder Ben Bishop, who didn't make the trip to Chicago.
(With inputs from agencies.)