The Jackets look to capture some critical points at home tonight as they battle the Dallas Stars at Nationwide Arena. Columbus sits just one point behind Detroit, who currently occupies the final Eastern Conference Wild Card spot, and two points behind the New York Rangers who are in the third and final Metropolitan Division playoff spot. With a win tonight the Jackets could tie the third place Rangers and get back into the thick of the playoff race.
Dallas, on the other hand, is looking to hold on to their current Wild Card spot. The Stars are 29-22-10 for a total of 68 points. They hold the final Western Conference Wild Card spot, and trail Colorado, the third place team in the Central Division, by fifteen points. Dallas trail Minnesota, the other Wild Card holder, by seven points. The Stars are followed close behind by Winnipeg and Vancouver, who each have 66 point and are only one win away from tying Dallas. The Stars are looking for a win to hold on to the spot they have and stay ahead of the pack chasing them in the standings.
This game tonight is the first of two meetings between Columbus and Dallas this season, with the second being played in Dallas this coming Monday. The last game between these two teams is one most Blue Jackets fans will never forget. Toward the end of the season, the Jackets and Dallas faced off in Texas for a momentous game. The outcome of it would pretty much make or break the Jackets’ chance of making it into the playoffs, and they ended up coming away with a huge win. It kept the hopes alive, and lead to the most exciting game of the season in Nationwide against the Preds to end the year. Here’s hoping tonight’s game is as good as those two!
In injury news, Ryan Murray was hurt in last night’s game against Toronto and is not expected to play tonight against Dallas. With Fedor Tyutin and Murray out of the lineup, so the Jackets will likely look to call-ups from Springfield to fill the gaps. Dalton Prout is a clear go on the Jackets’ blue line, as he scored the first goal in last night’s game in Toronto. Cody Goloubef is likely to play on defense tonight as well.
It seems likely that we will see Curtis McElhinney start in goal for Columbus tonight, since Sergei Bobrovsky started in goal last night in Toronto. Dallas is expected to start their backup goaltender as well, since they played last night too.
It should be a competitive game at Nationwide tonight, as both teams come off wins last night. Both teams are looking for a win tonight in order to stay alive in their respective playoff races and start March off with back-to-back wins. Go Jackets!
Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets