Rested Blue Jackets Clash With Hot Stars

They come in fresh off the bye week, but coming in rested, which Blue Jackets team shows up against hot Dallas Stars squad?

Things were not going well heading into the bye week, as the Columbus Blue Jackets dropped two-straight against the Sabres and Canucks, two of the NHL’s bottom-dwellers.

As Columbus returns to action fresh off their bye week, they will be tested against a hot Dallas Stars team Thursday night in Columbus. But all things considered, Columbus has reason to feel to feel fortunate. That’s because where they left things, in second place and six points behind the idle Capitals, they come in just one point out of second place.

New Faces

With the team rested, motivated, and eager to start things off on the right track, likely the same can be said for newly acquired Jussi Jokinen, claimed off waivers by Columbus Wednesday. Jokinen has just six points in 32 games between the Kings and Oilers. The move correlates with Sonny Milano being put on injured reserve, out 4-6 weeks with a torn oblique muscle suffered Jan. 9 against the Maple Leafs.

Dallas comes in winners of five-straight, seven of their last ten, with one of their two losses this month coming Jan. 2 on home ice against the Blue Jackets. They are 10-4-2 since Dec. 9. While the Stars hold the statistical advantage in many pertinent areas — Faceoff — things tend to bode well when Columbus plays a tight, defensive game. Such as their 2-1 win in Dallas the last time these teams met.

Columbus is 20-3-0 when holding opponents to two-or-fewer goals.

Who's Hot

Stars’ defenseman John Klingberg is hot. The team-leader in assists (37) had one against Columbus and two more against the Red Wings during Dallas’ 4-2 win Tuesday in Detroit. Klingberg comes in on a personal best eight-game points streak (two goals, 10 assists), and points in 11 of 12. That streak is the longest active streak in the NHL.

Jamie Benn is on a five-game points streak (two assists, four goals), and points in 11 of 12, as well.

Blue Jackets’ All-Star Seth Jones has been also been finding the scoresheet with regularity. Jones is on a four-game points streak (one goal, five assists).

Stars center Jason Spezza responded to a healthy Monday scratch versus the Bruins with two goals against Detroit. Spezza’s tallies snapped a 14-game goal drought. It was his first point in six games, going back to Dec. 29 against the Blues.

Former Blue Jackets draft pick Dillon Heatherington (second round, 50th overall, 2013) could make his NHL debut for the Stars against his old club. Ben Bishop gets the net for Dallas. Since Dec. 21, Bishop co-leads all goalies with seven victories (7-3, 1.90 goals against average, .935 save percentage).

It is a standard wait-and-see on John Tortorella’s end. While Sergei Bobrovsky is rested, and we know the history this season with extra rest, Joonas Korpisalo has not had NHL action since New Year’s Eve against the lightning. He last appeared for the Monsters Jan. 13, a 35-save, 2-1 win.

Brian Hedger had this note:

“Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start against Dallas, which would be his seventh in a row. The first six, however, were prior to the bye week the Jackets are finishing up. The way the schedule lays out, with four more games in January spread over 13 days, Bobrovsky’s string of starts could run up to 10 in a row, if not more. He’s been strong through the six games he’s already started consecutively, going 3-3-0 with a 2.15 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.”


Number Change

Blue Jackets-Stars Game Notes

Projected Lineups

Jamie Benn Tyler Seguin Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark Jason Spezza Devin Shore
Antoine Roussel Radek Faksa Tyler Pitlick
Remi Elie Martin Hanzal Brett Ritchie
Esa Lindell John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis Greg Pateryn
Dillon Heatherington Stephen Jones
Ben Bishop
Kari Lehtonen
Artemi Panarin Pierre-Luc Dubois Josh Anderson
Boone Jenner Alexander Wennberg Oliver Bjorkstrand
Matt Calvert Lukas Sedlak Nick Foligno
Jordan Schroeder Jussi Jokinen Tyler Motte
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Markus Nutivaara Scott Harrington
Joonas Korpisalo
Sergei Bobrovsky

Prelude: Don’t ask about Alexander Wennberg’s lack of shot attempts the last two games.

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