Preview Game 78: Stars Vs. Blue Jackets

Dallas Stars vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Tuesday April 5, 7.30PM CT

With just one win, the entire playoff outlook has changed for the Dallas Stars. After their 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks, the Stars now sit three points back of the eighth place Chicago Blackhawks and have a much easier remaining schedule, playing teams that are already out of the playoff race. Chicago ends the season with a home-and-away series against the Detroit Red Wings.

The next step in the Stars (39-28-11, 89 points) playoff push comes against the floundering Columbus Blue Jackets (34-32-13, 81 points). Columbus has only won three games since March 1, a span of 18 games. 

Dallas is 1-1-1 against the Blue Jackets this year, with each matchup being decided by one goal. The Stars catch a huge break though as Columbus is without their superstar player Rick Nash, who has missed the past three games with a lower body injury. Nash is the Blue Jacket’s statistical leader in goals, assists and points and scored goals in both of Columbus’ wins over Dallas. 

Columbus are coming off a 6-1 loss to the suddenly dangerous St. Louis Blues.

.About the Stars:

  • Kari Lehtonen will once again start in goal, making it 29 of the last 30 games that he has started. He has been the starter in each of the previous three games against the Blue Jackets, compiling a 1-1-1 record and a .952 goals-against average.
  • Brad Richards has scored four of the five Dallas goals in the series. Steve Ott scored the other goal in the first matchup between the two teams. 
  • The win over Anaheim snapped a six-game winless streak and was the first time in three games that they scored more than one goal.
  • Mark Fistric will make a return to the Stars team after missing the last game with an upper body injury.
  • Dallas has a 20-11-8 record at home.
  • Adam Burrish (leg), Nicklas Grossman (knee) and Brian Sutherby (back) will all miss this game.


About the Blue Jackets

  • Columbus will be without Rick Nash, D Dan Hejda (suspended), and G Steve Mason (lower body).
  • Backup goaltender Mathieu Garon has started two of the three games against the Stars this year. He’s 1-1-0 against the Stars this season with a .902 goals-against average.
  • Rick Nash scored in both of Columbus’ wins against Dallas this year.
  • Columbus has a 17-14-8 record on the road this year and have lost their last three road games.
  • Columbus has allowed at least three goals in nine straight games.
  • The Blue Jackets have scored twice on the last 44 powerplays, a 5 percent success rate. They have allowed a power-play goal in six of their last seven games.


Blue Jackets
Record 1-1-1 2-1-0
Game 1 at Columbus (Shootout)  Dallas – 2 Columbus – 3
Game 2 at Columbus Dallas – 2 Columbus – 1
Game 3 at Dallas Dallas – 1 Columbus – 2
Shots on Goal Per Game    23.7 34.7
Penalty Minutes Per Game        15.3 22.7
Power Play   2 for 16 (13%)      1 for 10 (10%)  
Last 10 Games 2-5-3 2-5-3