Blue Jackets-Stars Preview
GAME: Columbus Blue Jackets (15-27-8-3) at Dallas Stars (26-20-9-0).
TIME: Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. EST.
The All-Star break is coming at the worst possible time for the Dallas
Dallas looks to match a season high with its fourth straight victory when it
faces the Columbus Blue Jackets in the final game before the All-Star break for
The Stars have spent most of this season hovering around .500, but a strong
finish to January has moved the defending Pacific Division champions six games
over the break-even mark.
A current six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) matches a season high for Dallas,
7-1-1 in its last nine and 15-5-6 since ending a five-game losing streak on
Brenden Morrow recorded his first career hat trick and David Oliver and Bill
Guerin also scored Saturday, leading the Stars to a 5-4 victory at Phoenix.
"Brenden's always all over it, knocking on the door almost every shift,"
Stars goalie Marty Turco said. "It's nice to see a guy who does all the little
things right, a guy we can't win without in crunch time, get some results."
While the Stars may be disappointed to see the All-Star break coming up on
Friday, few players deserve the rest more than Turco, who will make his 16th
consecutive start Wednesday. Turco, the NHL leader with 25 wins and 3,142
minutes played, won't get much rest because he is the starting goaltender for
the Western Conference in Sunday's All-Star Game.
Dallas is 12-2-0 all-time against the Blue Jackets, including 6-0 at home.
Columbus' last game was also at Phoenix - a 3-3 tie on Monday.
Defenseman Anders Eriksson scored twice and David Vyborny converted a
penalty shot for the Blue Jackets, who played without left wing Rick Nash, the
NHL leader with 31 goals.
"You take the goals from anywhere, anybody you can when you've got a player
like Rick Nash out," assistant coach Gord Murphy said. "It's got to be goals
by committee. It was big. That's a real step in the right direction for our
Nash will miss his second straight game after he sustained a bruised left
foot Saturday against Minnesota. He will consult with team physicians before
determining if he can play in Sunday's All-Star Game.
Columbus has the fewest road wins in the NHL (3-15-4-2).