The The Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets square of this evening for a rematch 10 days after John Tortorella's bunch mucked up a slog-fest at American Airlines Center in a 3-0 win.
That game was scoreless through the halfway mark and the Stars were pressing hard when a puck went into the skates of an official, spoiling a quality scoring chance and resulting in a Columbus goal the other way.
The Stars could not beat Sergei Bobrovsky and surrendered an empty-netter to make the three-goal difference. That was at home. And the Blue Jackets were on the second night of a back-to-back. Tonight Columbus gets to play host, and they're coming off a 4-0 crushing of the Anaheim Ducks and a four-day rest period.
Dallas, neither coming off a win or a particularly restful weekend, keeps getting bad news on the injury front as Ales Hemsky, it was announced Monday, will miss the remainder of the year needing hip surgery.
Patrick Sharp is working out, but not close to returning, while Cody Eakin could be back in the mix within three weeks, but there's no help coming any time soon, leaving Lindy Ruff few options to choose from in what precious little practice time he has with his group.
The Stars play 16 games in the next 29 days through the end of November, and the next time Ruff ges two consecutive off-days with his group is December 4th and 5th, one of which will almost assuredly be a CBA mandated day off- We saw last year that when the Stars had time to practice and to refresh on the system they were adept course-correctors.
Such luxuries await the Stars later in the season- But they have to manage an impossible race in the Central without it for now.
Lines were reported out of a precious practice Monday as these-
And the defensive pairings, certainly in no particular order...
Lindy Ruff's message to his beleaguered team was clear Monday: He wants them to go to the tough areas and fight for the offense that's been so completely absent of late.
"We've got to ramp up our odds," he told dallasstars.com. "I like where we've got our shots, but I don't like where we are getting our opportunities from. You won't score. On today's goalies, you won't score. Where we got some of our clean looks, you won't score."
The Blue Jackets are feeling good about themselves coming off a 1-1-1 trip out west, culminating with the big win in Anaheim. The took the Kings to overtime and dropped a 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks along the way.
They're a young team trying to build on some early positives now having defeated the Stars, Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings already- And good news gets even better as they're to get Ryan Murphy back from injury tonight against Dallas.
To further counterpoint narratives in one camp, relaxed, the other, frustrated to the extreme- A note out of Blue Jackets practice was Brandon Dubinsky shaving his beard to perhaps alter luck, which was the source of some levity Monday by all reports.
From Stars PR:
The Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets meet for the second and final time during the 2016-17 regular season on Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena. Dallas has lost two of the last three games against the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena and dropped their most recent meeting on the road, 6-3, on Dec. 29, 2015. Stars forward Tyler Seguin (1-0=1) potted a goal and forward Patrick Sharp recorded a goal (1-0=1) with a season-best eight shots on goal. Defenseman John Klingberg logged an assist (0-1=1) with a team-high 24:56 time on ice and defenseman Johnny Oduya posted a team-best +2 plus/minus rating. In the first meeting of the 2016-17 campaign on Oct. 22, Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky shutout Dallas, 3-0, at American Airlines Center.
SEGS N' BACON
Stars forward Tyler Seguin registered a power play goal (1-0=1) against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night at MTS Centre and now has potted a goal in two of his last three games (2-0=2). Seguin has four points (3-1=4) in four contests away from American Airlines Center this season, sharing 10th in the NHL with three goals on the road. Last season, he finished tied for seventh overall in the League with 37 points (19-18=37) on the road and shared fifth in road goals (19). The native of Brampton, Ont., has a two-game road goal streak against Columbus (4-0=4) and has six goals (6-0=6) over his last five overall games against them. In 10 career games against the Blue Jackets, Seguin has tallied eight points (6-2=8).
IT'S A SHORE THING
Stars forward Devin Shore recorded two assists (0-2=2) on Tuesday, Oct. 25 against the Winnipeg Jets at American Airlines Center. The rookie notched the second multi-point contest of his NHL career, his first since recording a goal and assist (1-1=2) on Oct. 15 at Colorado. Shore has appeared in every Stars game this season, posting six points (1-5=6), leading the team in assists (5) and ranking second on the club in points (6). Among NHL rookies, he shares third in assists (5) and is tied for fifth in points (6). Originally selected by Dallas in the second round (61st overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, Shore made his NHL debut last season, and has posted six points (1-5=6) in 11 career NHL contests.