CHICAGO – Tuomu Ruutu scored with 1:48 left to give Chicago a 2-1 victory over Dallas on Wednesday night in Denis Savard’s first game as the Blackhawks’ head coach.

Ruutu’s shot trickled between goalie Marty Turco’s pads after the Chicago center started the play by stealing the puck from Dallas star Mike Modano.

The goal, Ruutu’s fifth of the season and fourth in five games, gave the Blackhawks just their fourth victory in 16 games and their first over Dallas since Jan. 20, 2002.

The Blackhawks fired coach Trent Yawney on Monday, replacing him with longtime assistant Savard. They promised to deliver more aggressive forechecks and pick up the tempo, but the game was more of the same the first two periods. The pace was plodding, the opportunities on offense scarce until the third.

The loss was the Stars’ second straight, and both times, they allowed two goals in the final period. They allowed two short-handed goals Monday in a 2-1 loss to Detroit.

This time, Chicago’s Duncan Keith tied it at 1 with 8:17 left on a shot from the left point – his first goal of the season. Dallas’ goal came late in the first period, when Jere Lehtinen tipped in a pass from Loui Eriksson.

AP-ES-11-29-06 2309EST


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