BLUE JACKETS (0-3-1) at STARS (3-1-0)
TV: FS-O (HD), TXA 21
This is the first of four meetings between the clubs this season. They play again Tuesday in Columbus.
Dallas has started out with three wins in its first four games, with the latest being a 3-2 win over St. Louis on Thursday. The Stars jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on over the final 25-plus minutes of the game. They are 3-0 at home. The Blue Jackets are still seeking their first win, and their first power-play goal. Their 0-3-1 start is the worst in franchise history.
Dallas' offense hasn't totally clicked, but the team is still winning games. The Stars have scored only 9 goals in four games, but goalie Kari Lehtonen
has allowed only 4 goals in three starts. He made 36 saves Thursday night against St. Louis. Defenseman Sheldon Souray
has been a perfect fit with 3 assists and a plus-3 rating in his first four games. Brenden Morrow
and Stephane Robidas
each picked up their first points of the season in Thursday's win while Loui Eriksson
scored his second goal. Jamie Benn
was held off the score sheet, so he remains one point shy of 100 for his NHL career.
It's possible that new Stars forward Eric Nystrom
makes his Dallas debut Saturday night. Nystrom was acquired on Wednesday from Minnesota. He was a healthy scratch Thursday.
Columbus was 41 seconds away from beating the Avalanche on Wednesday, but Gabriel Landeskog scored his first NHL goal and Colorado went on to win in a shootout. The Blue Jackets also had a lead going into the third period against Vancouver on Monday, but gave up goals to Cody Hodgson and Alexandre Burrows to lose the game in regulation.
"It's a long season, but we can't be having these losing streaks," captain Rick Nash
told the Columbus Dispatch. "It's unacceptable."
The Jackets haven't won, but Nash has 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) through four games. … Lehtonen has a .966 save percentage and 1.30 goals-against average over his first three starts for the Stars.
Blue Jackets center Jeff Carter
sat out Wednesday's game and Thursday's practice with the flu. … Stars defenseman Adam Pardy
(rib) hasn't played yet this season.
As mentioned, the Blue Jackets power play hasn't quite gotten off to a flying start. In fact, the power play, which includes Nash, Carter and Vinny Prospal
, is still grounded. The Jackets are 0-for-20 to start the season, including an 0-for-4 in Wednesday's 3-2 shootout loss to Colorado. The last team to start the season without a power-play goal through four games was Anaheim in 2008-09. The Rangers went seven games without a power-play goal in 2003-04.
"We can't ask for anything more than he's given us," Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said of Lehtonen, who is 3-0-0 and has allowed just four goals on 117 shots so far this season. "He's won singlehandedly two games for us here, for sure."