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Jackets Conclude Three-Game Pre-Christmas Road Trip Tonight

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets

December 23

I am going to put a positive spin on tonight's Blue Jackets-Stars match-up here in Dallas. The Jackets are 5-1-1 here in the "Big D" in their last seven visits. Rick Nash has four goals and two assists in his last six outings against the Stars and of course we all remember the Jackets last road win... a convincing 4-1 victory here at American Airlines Center back on November 19. That night, Kristian Huselius scored twice... one shorthanded goal, the other a power play goal... one of three power play goals the Jackets scored in the win.

As for tonight... I'd say Huselius is in the doubtful category. He remained at the team hotel for this morning's pre-game skate... the latest Blue Jackets to be felled with the flu. That said coach Ken Hitchcock said he thought he'd ice the full complement of 20 players for tonight's contest. Likely Andrew Murray will draw back in. He took Huselius' spot in today's line rushes.

Steve Mason goes in goal for the Jackets as they attempt to end a seven-game losing streak. If "body language" means anything, the players appeared a bit looser this morning with all the meetings the team has held in an effort to get things turned around. That said I predict a win tonight, but it will take a solid first period, and the first 10 minutes in particular, as the Stars, under coach Mark Crawford, will come out full bore right from the opening face-off.

With Mason in the net tonight, the Jackets need him to be their best player, again in the first period for sure.

Catch the game on FOX Sports Ohio beginning at 8 p.m. ET with "Blue Jackets Live" with Ray Crawford. Opening face-off is 8:30 p.m. ET.

And one more thing... Merry Christmas to all! Let's hope Santa brings the Blue Jackets a win tonight!

*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Bobby Mac", "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings." The Columbus Blue Jackets radio and television analysts will try to keep you updated on all the season action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets are on the road.

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