Game Preview #62 - Star-Crossed

USA TODAY Sports

Both teams on the second night of a back-to-back with travel, both teams fighting for their playoff lives in their last games before the trading deadline.

Dallas Stars at Columbus Blue Jackets

March 4, 2014 - 7:00 pm EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WBNS 97.1 FM -- TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Defending Big D
SBN's Stars vs Blue Jackets coverage

This is when the schedule starts to get crazy: including last night, seven games in 11 days, including a three-game Western Conference road trip.

These two teams are mirror images of each other right now, almost. The Stars are clinging to the last Wild Card spot in the West, and the Jackets are just one point out of the last spot in the East. If you look at their numbers below, they're pretty similar across the board. Both clubs played last night in different cities.

In short, this should be a pretty even match-up.

However, the Jackets have some shuffling to do on their blue-line, most likely. My guess is that Ryan Murray is out, and Cody Goloubef draws in. Also, below, I've left the forward lines the same, but there may be some low-end shuffling with Corey Tropp or Blake Comeau. Finally, my guess is that Curtis McElhinney gets a start tonight, given the schedule coming up. But, who knows? After the way last season ended...

The Stars' top line is formidable, as Jamie Benn has a history of torching the Jackets and Tyler Seguin is having a very good year. The struggled to get a win in (suddenly resurgent) Buffalo, and theoretically both teams will be tired. Hopefully, the Jackets can use their forward depth to an advantage tonight, and wear down the Stars.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(31-25-5, 67 Points; 5th division, 10th conference)

Boone Jenner Ryan Johansen Nathan Horton
Nick Foligno Artem Anisimov Marian Gaborik
R.J. Umberger Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert Derek MacKenzie Mark Letestu
Jack Johnson David Savard
Cody Goloubef James Wisniewski
Nikita Nikitin Dalton Prout
Curtis McElhinney
Sergei Bobrovsky

Dallas Stars
(29-22-10, 68 Points; 5th division, 8th conference)

Jamie Benn Tyler Seguin Valeri Nichushkin
Erik Cole Cody Eakin Rich Peverley
Antoine Roussel Vernon Fiddler Ryan Garbutt
Ray Whitney Shawn Horcoff Alex Chiasson
Alex Goligoski Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn Sergei Gonchar
Kevin Connauton Aaron Rome
Kari Lehtonen
Dan Ellis

Season Series

03/04/14 - Dallas at Columbus
03/10/14 - Columbus at Dallas

Head to Head Stats

Dallas Columbus
2.79 (13) GPG 2.88 (8)
2.74 (16) GAPG 2.77 (17)
14.5% (25) PP% 19.3% (14)
81.6% (17) PK% 82.0% (14)
Tyler Seguin, 25 G leader Ryan Johansen, 24
Tyler Seguin, 33 A leader James Wisniewski, 31
Tyler Seguin, 58 Pts leader Ryan Johansen, 47
Antoine Roussel, 160 PIM leader Brandon Dubinsky, 88
13-12-4 Road/Home 17-11-2
3/3 @ Buffalo, W 3-2 Last Game 3/3 @ Toronto, W 2-1
6-2-2 Last 10 5-4-1

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