The Jackets take on the Dallas Stars for the second and last time this season tonight in Dallas. The first meeting between these teams was at Nationwide this past Tuesday, which ended in a 4-2 win for Columbus. The Jackets followed that game with a devastating and embarrassing loss in Chicago on Thursday, but got back on track Saturday night when they beat the Nashville Predators by a lone goal off the stick of Artem Anisimov.
With Detroit’s loss to the New York Rangers yesterday, the Jackets have moved into the final Eastern Conference Wild Card spot and are looking to hold it while they try to crack the Metropolitan Division top three. A win in Dallas would give the Jackets a much-needed two points in the standings.
Columbus is tied with Detroit with 71 points, and the Wings don’t play tonight. The Wings next game, consequently, is against the Jackets tomorrow. A win in Dallas tonight would give the Jackets a two point lead over the Wings and help them pad their spot going into the game against Detroit tomorrow. Not to mention, if the Jackets win tonight they will be tied with the Flyers, who hold the third spot in the Metropolitan Division, and don’t play until Tuesday either.
Dallas and Columbus are only one point apart in the standings, and their records are pretty similar. Columbus is 33-26-5 for 71 points, and Dallas is 31-23-10 for 72 points. The last game between these two teams on Tuesday was a game the Jackets would like to repeat. They capitalized four times, with two goals coming from Artem Anisimov, and one apiece from Boone Jenner and R.J. Umberger. They almost made it five at the end of the game when Dallas pulled the goalie. Ryan Johansen had a golden opportunity, but threw the puck off the crossbar. Nonetheless, they came away with a win, and need to do the same thing in enemy territory tonight. Go Jackets!