Stars-Blue Jackets Preview

Columbus Blue Jackets at Dallas Stars
Thursday April 25
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: 570 KLIF (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (22-20-4) are coming off a 3-2 loss to San Jose Tuesday night that was a major blow to their playoff chances. The Stars are four points behind Detroit, which moved into eighth place with a victory over Los Angeles Wednesday night. The Stars trail Columbus, which is in ninth place, by three points.

“We need help now and we have to bounce back. That’s what you have to do. You have to bounce back and get two more wins,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan.

The Stars are still alive in the race, but they need to win their final two games against Columbus and Detroit and get some help from Nashville, which plays Detroit on Thursday and Columbus on Saturday.

Detroit can eliminate the Stars with a win or an overtime/shootout loss against Nashville on Thursday.

Columbus would eliminate the Stars with a win on Thursday.

Injuries:  RW Alex Chiasson (shoulder) is questionable.

About the Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets (22-17-7) haven’t played since Sunday, when they won 4-3 at San Jose. The Blue Jackets enter tonight’s game one point behind eighth-place Detroit.

“It will be the biggest game of our careers, there are so many young guys,” said Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen. “This is what hockey is all about. This is the best time of the year.”

This is the final game of a stretch of six straight on the road for the Blue Jackets. They have won four of the first five (4-1-0).

After Thursday’s game in Dallas, the Blue Jackets close out the season with a home game against Nashville.

Injuries: C Artem Anisimov (concussion), LW Matt Calvert (finger), D Nikita Nikitin (lower body) and D Ryan Murray (shoulder) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the third and final meeting between the Stars and Blue Jackets.

*The Stars are 1-1-0 in the season series and the Blue Jackets are 1-0-1.

*January 28, Dallas at Columbus: Blue Jackets 2, Stars 1
*February 26, Dallas at Columbus: Stars 5, Blue Jackets 4 (OT)

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 6-4-1 since the NHL trade deadline

*Blue Jackets are 7-3-0 since the deadline.

*The Stars have won three straight at home and are 6-3-0 in their last nine at American Airlines Center.

*The Blue Jackets are 6-2-0 in their last eight games on the road.

*Columbus is 1-19 (5.3%) on the power play over the last 9 games.

*The Stars are 4-24 (16.7%) on the power play over the last seven games.

Statistical matchup

Category Stars Blue Jackets
Record 22-20-4 22-17-7
Home 11-9-2 13-5-5
Away 11-11-2 9-12-2
Last 5 1-3-1 4-1-0
Last 10 6-3-1 7-3-0
Streak Lost 1 Won 1
Goals/game 2.76 (10th) 2.37 (25th)
Goals against/game 2.94 (23rd) 2.46 (11th)
5-on-5  F/A 1.04 (12th) 1.02 (14th)
Power play 17.0 (19th) 12.8 (30th)
Penalty kill 81.3 (14th) 83.0 (11th)
Shots/game 26.3 (28th) 26.1 (30th)
Shots against/game 30.8 (22nd) 30.1 (19th)
Faceoffs 47.0 (27th) 51.6 (6th)
Team Leaders Stars Blue Jackets
Goals Eriksson: 12 Prospal, Gaborik, Letestu: 12
Assists: Goligoski: 24 Tyutin: 18
Points: Benn: 32 Prospal: 29
Goaltenders Lehtonen: 15-13-3, 2.65, .916
Bachman: 6-4-0, 3.28, .880
Nilstorp, 1-3-1, 3.09, .897
Bobrovsky: 19-11-6, 2.06, .930
Leighton: 0-0-0, 0.00, .000

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