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Stars-Blue Jackets Preview @NHLdotcom
Stars-Blue Jackets Preview

GAME: Dallas Stars (21-9-1) at Columbus Blue Jackets (9-23-1).

TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Dallas Stars have played well away from home this season. They'll likely be glad when this road trip ends.

Dallas wraps up its longest road trip of the season when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Stars have won their last eight matchups against the Blue Jackets, outscoring them 27-16.

Dallas is 3-2 on its current six-game trip. The Stars, 7-2 over their last nine games away from home, are off to the best road start in franchise history.

However, they lost 2-1 Monday to the Minnesota Wild, going 0-for-6 on the power play.

"We've got one more to go, so I hope not, but there is a certain fatigue factor that comes into play," coach Dave Tippett said when asked whether his team was tired of playing on the road.

Jere Lehtinen scored the lone goal for the Stars, who have won seven of nine overall. Lehtinen has seven goals and two assists during a career-best six-game points streak.

The Stars were held to one goal for just the second time this season.

"This is something that's been building up for the last few games and we haven't paid the price for it and tonight we did," Dallas' Bill Guerin said. "A couple mistakes and we lose the game."

Goalie Marty Turco, who is 14-4 in his last 18 decisions, stopped 20 shots. Mike Modano, who, along with Guerin was named to the U.S. Olympic team, has three goals and nine assists in a nine-game point streak.

The Blue Jackets lost their fourth straight, falling 4-3 in a shootout Tuesday to the Detroit Red Wings. Nikolai Zherdev scored with 4:09 left in regulation to send the game into overtime, and Rick Nash and Duvie Westcott also had goals for Columbus.

"We were coming from behind the whole game and I'm proud of this room," forward Sergei Fedorov said.

Fedorov has 30 goals, including six game-winners, and 42 assists 70 games against the Stars.

STANDINGS: Stars - 43 points, 1st place (tied), Pacific Division. Blue Jackets - 19 points, 4th place, 30 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Lehtinen, 19 goals; Modano, 21 assists and 31 points; Steve Ott, 73 PIM. Blue Jackets - Zherdev, 9 goals; David Vyborny, 14 assists and 21 points; Jody Shelley, 67 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Stars - Power play: 16.5 percent (34 for 205), 16th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.4 percent (166 for 199), 10th. Blue Jackets - Power play: 12.3 percent (23 for 186), 29th. Penalty killing: 83.2 percent (194 for 233), 14th (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Turco (18-8-1, 2 SO, 2.51 GAA); Johan Hedberg (3-1-0, 0, 3.86). Blue Jackets - Marc Denis (4-13-0, 0, 3.43); Pascal Leclaire (2-7-1, 0, 3.58).

SEASON SERIES: Stars, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 18; Stars, 6-3. At Dallas, Lehtinen's goal midway through the third period snaps a 3-3 tie and Stephane Robidas and Stu Barnes added insurance goals late for the Stars. Berard scored twice for Columbus.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 11-4-0 on the road; Blue Jackets - 6-9-0 at home.

Associated Press

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