Skip to main content

Wild-card chase continues for Blue Jackets, Stars

by Sean McCullen
BLUE JACKETS (41-31-7) at STARS (39-29-11)


Last 10: Columbus 5-4-1; Dallas 7-3-0

Season series: This is the second and final game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars. The Blue Jackets won the first game 4-2 at Nationwide Arena on March 4.

Big story: This is a makeup game from March 10 when Stars center Rich Peverley collapsed on the Dallas bench due to a cardiac event. The teams will play a full 60 minutes of regulation time, plus any potential overtime and shootout, but the game will begin with Columbus leading 1-0 -- the score when play was halted after Peverley's medical emergency.

The Blue Jackets would clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they defeat the Stars in any fashion. They are four points ahead of the Washington Capitals for the second and final Eastern Conference wild card into the playoffs. Each team has three games left.

Columbus is two points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Stars are two points ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes for the second and final Western Conference wild card. Each team has three games left, including a head-to-head matchup on the final day of the regular season.

Team Scope:

Blue Jackets: Columbus surrendered a one-goal lead late in the third period Tuesday against the Coyotes, but got the extra point and a 4-3 win on Ryan Johansen's 32nd goal at 3:33 of overtime.

"It means so much more if we get in the postseason and do some damage there," Johansen said of his game-winner.

The Blue Jackets will clinch the second playoff berth in franchise history with a win in Dallas. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 29 saves Tuesday to improve to 30-20-5, will likely be the starter.

Stars: The Stars earned two points with a 3-2 shootout win Tuesday against the Nashville Predators, allowing them to gain a point on the Coyotes.

"I didn't say anything. I don't know if the players were aware of [the Coyotes' overtime loss] or not," coach Lindy Ruff said. "We just focused on what we could do. The schedule is demanding and it gets a little bit worse tomorrow. I'm a little concerned that our energy was good early and the energy began just slipping away. Shifts were getting really short.

"These guys are giving it everything they've got, that's the impressive part. These guys are going to handle this pressure differently. Some won't handle it well, some will learn from it."

Defenseman Alex Goligoski addressed the unusual situation he and his teammates will face when they arrive to American Airlines Center already trailing Columbus 1-0.

"We're starting out like it's a 0-0 game, do what we do, and do what we have to do to be successful, and being down 1-0 doesn't need to affect the way we play," he said Tuesday.

Who's hot: Columbus center Artem Anisimov has a goal and two assists in his past three games. Johansen has two goals and two assists in his past three. … Dallas left wing Jaime Benn has four goals and an assist in his past three games after he scored Tuesday.

Injury report: Blue Jackets right wing Nathan Horton (lower body), who scored for Columbus before the March 10 game was postponed, will likely be out after he reaggravated an injury that had kept him out of four previous games during the second period Tuesday. Defenseman Nikita Nikitin (lower body) is day-to-day, and forwards RJ Umberger (upper body) and Nick Foligno (lower body) are out for the rest of the regular season. … Stars left wing Ray Whitney (lower body) and defenseman Aaron Rome (lower body) are day-to-day.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.