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Game Day Central: Blue Jackets at Stars

by Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

MONDAY, 8:30 P.M.


Tonight's game in Dallas has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date, according to Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson. What we know: Stars forward Rich Peverley suffered a medical emergency on the bench during the first period, and has been taken to a local hospital where he is alert and conscious. More details will be made available when we have them.

Nathan Horton 1st period PP goal.

GAME ADUIO: Nathan Horton puts us up 1-0 with a 1st period PP goal. | LISTEN

WATCH: RJ Umberger chats with Bob McElligott prior to tonight's game in Dallas.

WATCH: Blake Comeau talks about re-joining the lineup and building on Saturday's win in Nashville.

WATCH: Todd Richards' pre-game press conference from American Airlines Center.

INSIDE EDGE: Game day from Dallas!

UPDATE (12:45 PM):
As Todd Richards said yesterday, the Blue Jackets will keep the same forward lines intact as they used Saturday in Nashville. Here's the projected alignment...

Foligno - Johansen - Jenner
Calvert - Dubinsky - Horton
Umberger - Anisimov - Tropp
MacKenzie - Letestu - Comeau

Nikitin - Wisniewski
Johnson - Savard
Schultz - Prout

Cody Goloubef and Frederic St. Denis are healthy scratches on defense. Cam Atkinson and Matt Frattin are scratched up front. 

UPDATE (12:30 PM):
In case you're just tuning in, Curtis McElhinney is the Jackets' starting goaltender tonight. Nikita Nikitin is skating this morning with the team and looks to be a go for tonight's game against the Stars.

UPDATE (12:15 PM):
Stars coach Lindy Ruff confirmed this morning that goaltender Kari Lehtonen is suffering from concussion-like symptoms and will not play tonight. Tim Thomas gets the start for Dallas.

 The final leg of the three-game road trip is Monday night in Dallas, where the Blue Jackets take on the surging Stars. The Blue Jackets are scheduled for an 11:30 a.m. (local time) morning skate on Monday at the American Airlines Center, and we'll have game day coverage for you right here at Game Day Central. Also, look for lineup changes, thoughts on the match-up against the Stars, storylines from the other side and an interview with coach Todd Richards. Stay tuned to this page for the latest!

The Blue Jackets are coming off an emotional, hard-fought win Saturday night in Nashville but they don't want to rest on it. They have to keep winning to keep pace in the playoff race, and as a result, the Jackets aren't expected to make any lineup changes on Monday in Dallas.

If they do make one, it would be the addition of Nikita Nikitin, who missed the game in Nashville but was feeling much better on Sunday. Richards said he will be a game-time decision.

Curtis McElhinney gets the start in goal for the Blue Jackets.

Todd Richards said after Thursday's blowout loss in Chicago that he didn't want to have to keep relying on his team's proven ability to rebound after bad losses. He said he expected a much better, competitive effort in Nashville and got it, but now it's about continuing to keep the snowball rolling downhill.

There are 18 games left in the regular season and the Blue Jackets are tenuously holding the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, and sit just three points back of Tampa, which holds the top wild card position. But the Blue Jackets are also looking at a playoff spot within their own division, and are three points back of the third spot in the Metropolitan entering Monday's games. 

After a long stretch of games started by Bobrovsky, the Jackets will turn to Curtis McElhinney on Monday night. It's the first start for McElhinney since a Jan. 28 home loss to Ottawa, but it was a game in which he didn't get a lot of assistance.

McElhinney will start in the second meeting in less than week between Columbus and Dallas, the last being a 4-2 win for the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Mar. 4.

Dallas is in a position very similar to the Jackets, fighting for one of the final playoff spots in its respective conference and needing to keep pace with the teams in the race. The Stars did lose No. 1 goaltender Kari Lehtonen to a head injury in Saturday's game against Minnesota, and the update from coach Lindy Ruff on Sunday wasn't positive. Veteran netminder Tim Thomas, acquired from Florida at the trade deadline, is expected to get the start on Monday night.



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