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The Jackets take on the Stars

Thursday night a 7:00, the Columbus Blue Jackets will host the Dallas Stars at Nationwide in the first of five straight home games. The Blue Jackets will head to the 2+ week break not leaving their home ice. Both teams, currently on the outside looking in when it comes to a post-season position. The Blue Jackets are 9 points behind 8th place Detroit, while the Stars are just a point behind.

Tonights game will be the teams first game with the teams new interim coach Claude Noel, as Hitchcock was dismissed after Tuesday’s 5-1 loss.

This will be the fourth time these two teams have played. Currently, the Blue Jackets are up 2-1 on the Stars. The two teams will not meet again in the regular season. On Thursday November 19th, the Blue Jackets went into Dallas and beat the Stars 4-1. Dallas got revenge on December 23rd, beating Columbus 3-1. The loss was the seventh loss in the streak of eight straight around Christmas. Then, on Saturday January 10th, the Blue Jackets blanked Dallas 2-0.

Columbus is led in goals and assists by LW Rick Nash. Nash has scored 24 goals and dished out 27 assists. Goaltender Steve Mason has started 40 of the Blue Jackets 66 games this season, winning 13, allowing 3.28 goals per game. His back-up Mathieu Garon, is 9-8 in 26 games played.

The Stars have won three of their last four games. Their latest win was a 4-2 win over Minnesota. Dallas is 8-14-6 when playing on the road this season. Brad Richards leads the team in total points with 59. Richards leads the team in assists with 44, while adding 15 goals. The top goal scores for Dallas are Loui Eriksson and James Neal with 21. Their number one goaltender is Marty Turco. He has played in 37 games and won 15. Through the season, he is allowing 2.88 goals per game.

Here’s to hoping.

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