The Dallas Stars have had some frustration in the goal scoring department after Ben Bishop and Jhonas Enroth did super-human things during furious rallies. Tonight, on the dreaded back-to-back, they may find themselves in the same pickle as Sergei Bobrovsky starts for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Columbus played in Toronto last night, and so did Bobrovsky- A 2-1 win for the BJ's, completing a season-sweep of the Maple Leafs. Undeterred, he'll reportedly start this evening while Dallas rolls with Dan Ellis, who has not played since February 1st in Anaheim.
The Stars started with this last night:
And then switched to this:
Kind of. Eakin and Cole also took faceoffs with Nichushkin out there. Chiasson took a couple with Benn and Seguin. So we'll see how that all works out tonight.
Then comes the news this morning that Rich Peverley is expected to miss tonight's game with an upper-body injury, and he'll be day-to-day. This is where Chiasson's resurgence helps, because he can be scaled up the lineup with some confidence, and so can Val. Fitting it all together this evening with re-called Chris Muller will be a trick. We'll see tonight how it works out.
Brenden Dillon was able to play through a lower body injury that may still be nagging. His presence tonight is not a sure thing either.
This is Dallas' first meeting with Columbus this season, and the second and final matchup is just six days later at American Airlines Center.
"They have some big forwards," Lindy Ruff said of Columbus last night. "I think they have some good speed up front and I really like their defense and of course Bobrovsky in goal has been really good for them. I think they showed they're right above where we are at and it should be a tough game."
The Blue Jackets have been a pretty good home team this year (17-11-2), better than some of the teams they're chasing in the East. They sit 10th in their conference and curiously have a +10 goal differential, better than the next five teams above them.
They've survived five of their last six on the road at 3-2-1 and get three more away from home after this one with the Stars tonight.
Columbus has taken out the Kings, the Wild, the Oilers, and the Canucks at home this season, also taking St. Louis to overtime. They're 8-2-0 in their last ten in their barn, so this will be nothing short of difficult this evening.
Their power play at home has been electric of late, going 12 for 43 in their last 10 games- 28%.
Dallas did well to give Buffalo the single power play last night. Repetition on that front tonight could be key.
The real problem is that the Stars, for all the shots they generate, could be in line for another frustrating night against an opposing netminder. Sergei Bobrovsky will start both games of their back-to-back. He's 13-6-0 at home this season with a 2.27 GAA and a .922 save percentage.
Bobrovsky is 3-1-0 on the second night of a back-to-back this season having stopped 121 of 130 shots in that situation for a gaudy .931 save percentage. Your move, Dan Ellis.
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