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Stars-Blue Jackets Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Columbus Blue Jackets at Dallas Stars

Monday, March 10
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (31-23-10) rallied for a 4-3 win over Minnesota Saturday night before a record crowd of 19,109 that was on hand to watch Mike Modano’s No. 9 retired at American Airlines Center. Tyler Seguin tied the game 3-3 with a power play goal with 8:49 remaining and Erik Cole notched the game-winner four minutes later, scoring on a breakaway.

“I thought the way we did it with the buzz in the building was awesome,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “The fans were awesome. To cap the game off and come back and win it – the game had playoff atmosphere and playoff intensity.”

The Stars, who are in eighth place in the Western Conference, increased their lead to three points over ninth-place Phoenix.

The Stars lost goaltender Kari Lehtonen in the third period to a head injury after a collision with Minnesota forward Erik Haula. Lehtonen is day to day.

Tim Thomas, acquired at the trade deadline from Florida, finished the game and stopped all six shots he faced to get the win in his Stars debut. Thomas is expected to start Monday vs. the Blue Jackets.

Monday’s game wraps up a three-game homestand for the Stars, who have won the first two games.

The Stars recalled goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp from the Texas Stars of the AHL on Sunday due to the Lehtonen injury.

Injuries: G Kari Lehtonen (head) is day to day.

About the Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets (33-26-5) are coming off a 1-0 victory at Nashville Saturday night. Artem Anisimov scored the game-winning goal with 6:25 remaining and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots for his third shutout of the season.

“That’s a playoff game right there,” said Columbus defensemen James Wisniewski. “That’s what it is going to take, blocking shots, taking hits, taking punches to the head and just grinding it out. Fortunately, we got a good play at the end, scored a goal and it was enough to win.”

The win was the fourth in the last five games for the Blue Jackets, who currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Injuries: D Nikita Nikitin (head) is questionable. D Fedor Tyutin (ankle), D Ryan Murray (knee), RW Jared Boll (ankle) and RW Jack Skille (upper body) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the second and final meeting between the Stars and Blue Jackets this season.

*The Blue Jackets won the previous meeting, defeating the Stars 4-2 in Columbus on March 4.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 10-2-3 over their last 15 games, including 4-2-0 since the Olympic break.

*The Blue Jackets are 16-7-1 since January 1, including 4-2-0 since the break.

*The Stars are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games at home.

*The Blue Jackets are 6-4-1 in their last 11 games on the road.

*The Stars have scored on the power play in the last four games and are 6-19 (31.6 percent) during that stretch.

*The Blue Jackets are 36-40 (90.0 percent) on the penalty kill over their last 11 games.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has points in four straight games (two goals, four assists).

*Stars center Tyler Seguin has eight points (four goals, four assists) over the last two games.

*Blue Jackets forward Artem Anisimov has six goals in the last six games, including four-game winners.

*Seguin leads the Stars in goals (28) and points (63).

* Ryan Johansen leads the Blue Jackets in goals (25) and points (49).

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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