Preview: Dallas Stars Look to Bounce Back Against Columbus Blue Jackets (7:30pm CST)

The Stars look to resume their climb up the standings tonight against the visiting Blue Jackets.

The Dallas Stars saw their four-game winning streak snapped on the second night of a back-to-back in Chicago Saturday night, but still own an 8-1-1 record in their last ten as they look to get back on the horse tonight against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.

"It was a good effort," said Stars head coach Lindy Ruff. "I thought back-to-back, especially at even strength, we did a really good job. You look at the end of the night it is a hard fought point in a back-to-back game that might have been our best back-to-back so far."

The best back-to-back so far that brings that record to 0-4-1, but an encouraging enough of an effort that their momentum could hardly be said to be halted. They were, as Ruff commented, best 5-on-5, but the Blackhawks were awarded power plays where the Stars were not, and that tipped possession and the score, ultimately.

Kari Lehtonen played both nights of the back-to-back, and well, until perhaps the sharp-angle goal at United Center that sent the game to OT. Will he continue to play every night? The Stars have 8 games in 15 nights before the All-Star break and no real appreciable periods of downtime until then.

The Stars were off on Monday and there's no news to report on lineup changes. Travis Morin has been reassigned to the AHL.

Meanwhile, you think the Stars are hot? Check out the Blue Jackets.

11-2-1 in their last 14 games. Wins over Detroit. Pittsburgh. Chicago. Minnesota. Boston. Tampa Bay. You name it. Either conference, home or away, they are absolute monsters right now. The mirror image, really, of Dallas.

They started 6-15-2 after injury problems and were counted out. They have experienced a month of extreme success, like the Stars, and yet still sit on the cusp of the playoff picture. Kindred Eastern Conference spirits if ever there were some, wouldn't you say?

Except there's just one thing- in that incredible 14 game span they've been enjoying they've been out-shot, and sometimes pretty severely, in 12 of them. Out-shot 41-23 by Washington? It's a win. Out-shot 41-19 by Chicago? It's...somehow a win. Out shot 55-20 (seriously?) by Florida and it's a win.

So there's a little luck there, and a whole lot of goaltending. Sergei Bobrovsky ripped off seven straight W's for them recently, and even Curtis McElhinney has a few wins in relief.

Like the Stars they played on January 3rd and the 4th (a loss in Arizona and a win in Colorado, respectively), and now face their third game in four days at American Airlines Center.

They've won in each of their last three trips to Dallas, the latest of which was the completion of the one that was halted on Rich Peverley's behalf.

Nick Foligno (35 points) and Ryan Johansen (34) lead the way for them in scoring. Scott Hartnell's 21 points make him a distant third, with defensemen Jack Johnson and James Wisniewski just behind. David Savard also has a bit of a hot hand with three game winners in their last nine victories.

Possible lineup:



Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

It took me three tries to type "Goloubef," and yes, that's former Dallas Star Kevin Connauton, who has five goals and four assists in his last 11 games in a Blue Jackets uniform, including two game winners. He's minus one in that span.

From Stars PR:

The Stars square off against the Columbus Blue Jackets at American Airlines Center on Tuesday in the second and final matchup between the two clubs this season. Dallas bested the Blue Jackets, 4-2, at Nationwide Arena in the first meeting on Oct. 14. Forward Tyler Seguin scored three goals against the Blue Jackets for his first hat trick of the season in the contest. Stars captain Jamie Benn led the team with four points (1-3=4) and registered a +4 rating in the first game against Columbus. Benn also recorded a fighting major in the tilt, earning his third career Gordie Howe hat trick.

7:30pm CST on Fox Sports Southwest and Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket.