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Blue Jackets minus Murray against Stars

by Craig Merz

COLUMBUS -- The Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets go into their game Tuesday in Nationwide Arena tired and banged-up after playing the previous night.

For Columbus, rookie defenseman Ryan Murray will not play after sustaining a lower-body injury Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Murray, third among Columbus defensemen with a plus-4 rating, appeared to hurt his knee or ankle after being checked along the boards in the second period and did not come back for the duration of the 2-1 victory.

"Lower body, day-to-day," coach Todd Richards said when asked three times about Murray's status Tuesday morning.

Richards said he expects Murray will be back during stretch run for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but offered no more details pending further evaluation.

The Stars (29-22-10) lost forward Rich Peverley to an upper-body injury Monday in the 3-2 home win against the Buffalo Sabres. The team said the injury is minor. Peverley is fifth in points for the Stars with 27 (seven goals, 20 assists).

Forward Chris Mueller was recalled from the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League. His only game for Dallas this season was the opener against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 3.

He is fourth on Texas with 52 points (24 goals, 28 assists) in 56 games and tied for the AHL lead with 14 power-play goals. He had two goals and three assists for the Nashville Predators last season.

Meanwhile, Murray's absence means the Blue Jackets (31-25-5) will be minus another top defenseman because Fedor Tyutin is still recovering from a sprained ankle sustained while playing for Russia in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"With Tyutin going out, one guy who needed to solidify his game was James Wisniewski," Richard said of the veteran defenseman. "I thought he did that last night. It was one of his better games.

"Our forwards need to do a job too: forecheck, win battles in the offensive zone and take some pressure of our defense."

Defenseman Dalton Prout was recalled from the Springfield Falcons (AHL) to play the past three games for Tyutin and scored against the Maple Leafs.

"The reason he went to Springfield was to play and get some experience and get some confidence and he found that," Richards said.

The Blue Jackets will fill Murray's spot with Cody Goloubef, who has spent most of his time with Springfield but has played three games for Columbus this season.

"I'm not going out there to change the way I play or prove a point," he said. "That makes you worse. You'll struggle when you try to do too much."

In a bit of surprise, Richards will start No. 1 goalie Sergei Bobrovsky a second straight night after leaning toward backup Curtis McElhinney prior to the game against the Maple Leafs. The coach said Bobrovsky, who made 28 saves against Toronto, did not expend that much energy in the game and felt fine.

Dallas, which like Columbus did not skate Tuesday morning because of the travel, is expected to turn to backup Dan Ellis after Kari Lehtonen stopped 21 of 23 shots Monday.

Here are the projected lineups:


Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Valeri Nichushkin

Erik Cole - Cody EakinChris Mueller

Antoine Roussel - Vernon Fiddler - Ryan Garbutt

Ray Whitney - Shawn Horcoff - Alex Chiasson

Alex Goligoski - Trevor Daley

Jordie Benn - Sergei Gonchar

Kevin Connauton - Aaron Rome

Dan Ellis

Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: none

Injured: Rich Peverley (upper body), Brenden Dillon (lower body), Stephane Robidas (IR - leg)


Boone Jenner - Ryan Johansen - Nathan Horton

Nick Foligno - Artem Anisimov - Marian Gaborik

R.J. Umberger - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson

Matt Calvert - Derek MacKenzie - Mark Letestu

Jack Johnson - David Savard

James Wisniewski - Dalton Prout

Nikita Nikitin - Cody Goloubef

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Blake Comeau, Corey Tropp

Injured: Ryan Murray (lower body), Fedor Tyutin (IR - ankle), Jared Boll (IR - ankle)

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