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Stars-Blue Jackets Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at Columbus Blue Jackets


Tuesday, October 14, 2014
6:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (0-1-1) are coming off a 4-1 loss in Nashville Saturday. The Stars took a 1-0 lead in the first period, but Nashville outshot them 26-13 over the final two periods and scored four unanswered goals.

“We’ve got no excuses in here,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “We didn’t come out ready to play tonight and they simply outworked us for 60 minutes.”

Tuesday’s game continues a stretch of three straight on the road for the Stars and these next two (Columbus, Pittsburgh) are against two of the better teams in the East, starting with Columbus.

“I think Columbus is already proven they’re one of the better teams when it comes to hanging onto the puck, one of the better teams defensively,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “They’ve got some real good skill up front. That top line with [Ryan] Johansen, [Cam] Atkinson and Nick Foligno, they’ve got real good numbers, like numbers when it comes to even strength play. They’ve carried most of the play. They’ve had the puck a lot. Bu they’re deep. They’ve got some good size. They’ve got some good speed and I think they’ve got a back end that has played very well for them.”

Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin (groin/hip flexor) left Monday’s practice early. Ruff juggled his lines in Monday’s practice, moving Cody Eakin up to the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Ruff said that line was a “possibility” for Tuesday.

Injuries: LW Valeri Nichushkin (groin/hip flexor) is questionable. D Sergei Gonchar (ankle) is out. C Rich Peverley (heart) is on injured non-roster status.

About the Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets (2-0-0) defeated the New York Rangers, 5-2, Saturday in Columbus. The Blue Jackets built a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes and never looked back.

"We did a lot of things at the start of the game that will allow us to have success," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "I like the way we stuck at it out there in all areas."

The Blue Jackets received points from all four forward lines, including three goals from the top line of Nick Foligno, Ryan Johansen and Cam Atkinson.

Foligno (maintenance day) did not practice Monday but is expected to play Tuesday according to the team’s official site.

Tuesday’s game is the second of a three-game homestand for Columbus.

Injuries: C/LW Brian Gibbons (lower body) is day-to-day. C/LW Boone Jenner (broken hand) and C Brandon Dubinsky (abdominal) are out. RW Nathan Horton (back), LW Sonny Milano (upper body) and D Ryan Murray (lower body) are on injured non-roster status.

Series Notes

*This is the first of two meetings between the Stars and Blue Jackets this season.

*The Stars were 0-2-0 (0 points) vs. Columbus last season.

*The Blue Jackets were 2-0-0 (4 points) vs. Dallas last season.

*The Stars are 31-13-5 all-time vs. Columbus.

Statistical tidbits

*Columbus has won its first two games of the season for the first time since 2009.

*The Stars are winless in their first two games for the first time since 2009, when they went 0-0-2.

*Columbus has outscored its opponents 8-3 in the first two games.

*The Stars have been outscored 6-3 in their first two games, excluding the goal awarded for a shootout win.

*Twelve different Columbus players have registered points over the first two games.

*Six different Dallas players have registered points over the first two games.

*The Stars are 1-7 (14.3 percent) on the power play.

*Columbus is 1-8 (12.5 percent) on the power play.

*The Stars are 7-8 (87.5 percent) on the penalty kill.

*The Blue Jackets are 4-4 (100.0 percent) on the penalty kill.

*The Stars have won 52. 4 of faceoffs.

*The Blue Jackets have won 50.0 percent of faceoffs.

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 DallasStars.com 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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