Stars and Blue Jackets Collide in a Fight for Survival


The Dallas Stars (18-14-6) return home on Tuesday night, as they continue their quest to claw their way back into the Western Conference Playoff picture. Greeting them at American Airlines Center are the Columbus Blue Jackets (17-17-3), who are the only team to have an arguably better finish to 2014. In their previous meeting in October, the Stars topped the Jackets 4-2 in Columbus, and a win tonight would conclude a season sweep for Dallas. This will be the lone home game before a brief tour of Nashville and Colorado. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. CST and the game can be seen locally on Fox Sports SouthWest.

Records and Scores

Despite a tough overtime loss in Chicago on Sunday night, the Stars have found their form of late and are playing superb hockey at a time when it is badly needed. They have won nine of their last twelve, and have pointed in their last five. Furthermore, they have nixed their early home jinx and have won their last three in Dallas. The conventional wisdom is that a team needs 90 points if they want to even smell the postseason, and right now Dallas would need 48 points in their remaining 44 games to hit that mark. Their fingernails are precariously scratching at the top of the metaphorical cliff, and maintaining their recent pace throughout this month’s West-heavy schedule could pull them onto solid ground.

The Blue Jackets and Stars are kindred spirits in their recent renaissance. After losing 17 of their first 23, the Jackets posted a gaudy 10-1-1 in the month of December and then dropped one of two over the weekend to remain at an even 17-17-3. Say what you may about their early struggles, but do not look down your nose at a team with such impressive survival skills. The grittiness that they’ll bring to Dallas is the same that keeps afloat the hopes of the Stars.


Stars in Deep Space

It finally looks as though Tyler Seguin won’t be forced to carry the offense by himself. Erik Cole, Brett Ritchie and other depth players have been making their presence felt, especially at home. Dating back to their outing against the Rangers on Dec. 29, the Stars have scored 16 goals on 93 shots for a brilliant .172 shot percentage in games played in Dallas. Those goals have come from 11 different players, and league points-leader Seguin accounted for only one. There is no shame in leaving Chicago with a single point if you can count on such four-line production.

Blue Jackets Pack a Sting 

The Columbus Blue Jackets come to Dallas having turned around a season that seemed to be slipping away at the close of November. Such a remarkable change of fortune can be credited primarily to two individuals on the roster: Nick Foligno, whose nine power play goals ranks second in the league, and Sergei Bobrovsky, who’s found his elite form lately. The Jackets’ power play is amongst the most formidable in the league, posting goals at a 24% rate. They’re young, they can score in bunches, and their netminder can decide games by himself when he’s at his best. For the Dallas Stars, staring at the Columbus Blue Jackets is like staring at the mirror.

Injury Report

For the Stars, Patrik Nemeth (arm) and Rich Peverley (chest) remain out indefinitely. Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and Patrick Eaves (lower body) will not be active, and Shawn Horcoff (illness) is listed as questionable.

For the Blue Jackets, Nathan Horton (back) is out indefinitely. Ryan Murray (knee), Artem Anisimov (triceps), Brian Gibbons (knee), and Boone Jenner (back) are all inactive. Mark Letestu (groin) and Cam Atkinson (upper body) are both listed as questionable.

Projected Line Combinations

Dallas Stars

Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Colton Sceviour

Erik Cole – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky

Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt

Travis Moen – Vernon Fiddler – Brett Ritchie

Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg

Jamie Oleksiak – Trevor Daley

Jordie Benn – Jason Demers

Kari Lehtonen

Anders Lindback

Columbus Blue Jackets

Scott Hartnell – Ryan Johansen – Nick Foligno

Matt Calvert – Brandon Dubinsky – Jeremy Morin

Sean Collins – Alexander Wennberg – Jack Skille

Corey Tropp – Michael Chaput – Jared Boll

Jack Johnson – David Savard

Kevin Connauton –  James Wisniewski

Fedor Teutin – Cody Goloubef

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney


The Stars keep up their torrid rate of offensive production, and keep the feisty Jackets at bay with a 6-3 home win.

Check back to Blackout Dallas for postgame coverage and updates!