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Blue Jackets aim to end woes against Stars

by Brian Compton

STARS (9-8-2) at BLUE JACKETS (5-12-2)


Last 10: Dallas 6-3-1; Columbus 2-7-1.

Season series: This is the second of three meetings. The Blue Jackets edged the Stars by a 2-1 score on Jan. 28 at Nationwide Arena.

Big story: Columbus returns home for one game after completing a six-game road trip Sunday night at Chicago. The Blue Jackets were shut out in that game in a 1-0 loss and finished the trip with a record of 1-5-0. They go back to Chicago again on Friday before returning for a four-game homestand.

Team scope:

Stars: Dallas earned a point in Nashville on Monday night, but the Stars can hardly feel satisfied after blowing a 4-2 lead en route to a 5-4 overtime loss against the Predators. Roman Josi had a four-point night (two goals, two assists), spoiling what was appearing to be a solid performance by the Stars in front of a nationally-televised audience.

“We just didn’t have a good feel for the game after we were up 4-2,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. “We needed to stay disciplined after the double minor for high sticking (on Nashville’s Mike Fisher). They are going to look for something on you. You can’t give up a 5-on-3. We just didn’t have game feel. We let them in, and got them excited. We just needed to make sure we closed them out.”

Blue Jackets: Despite a solid effort against the Blackhawks, the woes continued for the Blue Jackets on Sunday night. Columbus fired 28 shots at Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford, who made his first performance in 12 days due to an upper-body injury. But Crawford stopped them all, and the Jackets failed to earn any points in the standings for the seventh time in their past 10 games.

Five of the games on the six-game trip were decided by one goal and the other – a 5-3 loss to Phoenix – was a one-goal game until an empty-net score sealed it.

"You look at this road trip that we're on, six games, other than the Phoenix game … they were all one-goal games," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "We're giving up maybe two goals a game, maybe three goals a game, but we can't generate anything and we can't finish right now in the offensive zone."

Who’s hot: Stars forward Michael Ryder had three assists Monday night, extending his point streak to six straight games. He has two goals and seven assists during the stretch.

Injury report: Goaltender Kari Lehtonen (groin) and veteran forward Ray Whitney (foot) are out for the Stars. … Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson (shoulder) has been placed on injured reserve, joining forward Brandon Dubinsky (knee). Center Artem Anisimov is day-to-day with a head injury.

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