|CBJ||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|DAL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
GAME: Columbus Blue Jackets (32-41-4) at Dallas Stars (51-22-5).
TIME: Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. EDT.
With the second seed in the Western Conference secured, the Dallas Stars host the Columbus Blue Jackets with a focus on getting healthy for the playoffs.
The Stars won the Pacific Division to clinch the No. 2 spot, but can't catch Detroit for the top seed in the West. Calgary, the current third seed and likely winner of the Northwest Division, can't catch Dallas.
With their seeding determined, the Stars rested Mike Modano and Willie Mitchell in a 4-1 loss to San Jose on Sunday night. They might do the same against a Blue Jackets club that has the third-worst record in the West despite a recent team-record six-game winning streak.
Modano has a left knee injury that isn't considered serious, while Mitchell sat out with an undisclosed upper-body injury.
While getting healthy is a priority, the Stars will also be looking to refocus on the ice, having dropped four of their last six games.
Dallas allowed the Sharks 10 power plays and was visibly frustrated and tired after arriving in San Jose at 3 a.m. Sunday following a 3-2 shootout win over Phoenix.
"We're going to run into that during the playoffs," Dallas forward Bill Guerin said. "We're going to be tired. We're going to be more beaten up than we are now, so we can't use that as an excuse. We have to get ourselves ready to go."
The Stars have allowed seven power-play goals in their last four games after giving up only four in the previous nine contests.
"Frustration is not part of the equation at this time of the season," Dallas goalie Marty Turco said. "We didn't do ourselves any favors with our lack of discipline. The next four games will show more of what we want to take into the playoffs. We need to get our game and heads back on track."
The Blue Jackets lost back-to-back contests to the Red Wings over the weekend, snapping their six-game winning streak.
Detroit's 4-2 victory over Columbus on Saturday coupled with Dallas' loss to San Jose clinched the top seed in the West for the Red Wings.
"They're the best team in the league and we played well against them this weekend," Columbus goalie Pascal Leclaire said. "I don't think we panic anymore. Even when we're down a goal ... we're going to keep pushing."
The Stars have won nine straight over Columbus and have never lost to the Blue Jackets at home, winning all nine games in Dallas. The Stars have won 16 of 18 all-time meetings.
STANDINGS: Blue Jackets - 68 points, 3rd place, 48 PB, Central Division. Stars - 107 points, 1st place, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Blue Jackets - Rick Nash, 29 goals; David Vyborny, 39 assists and 57 points; Jody Shelley, 149 PIM. Stars - Jere Lehtinen, 32 goals; Sergei Zubov, 55 assists; Modano, 74 points; Brenden Morrow, 179 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Blue Jackets - Power play: 14.1 percent (60 for 426), 29th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.7 percent (403 for 493), 18th. Stars - Power play: 17.6 percent (84 for 477), 19th. Penalty killing: 83.9 percent (406 for 484), 10th.
GOALTENDERS: Blue Jackets - Marc Denis (19-24-1, 1 SO, 3.27 GAA); Leclaire (10-14-3, 3.28). Stars - Turco (40-18-5, 3, 2.55); Johan Hedberg (11-4-0, 2.52).
SEASON SERIES: Stars, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 21; Stars, 5-3. At Columbus, Ohio, Philippe Boucher and Stu Barnes each scored two goals and Dallas killed off eight penalties, including seven in the first period.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jackets - 12-23-4 on the road; Stars - 26-11-2 at home.
|Apr 18 '06||DAL 4 at CBJ 5 - OT|
|Apr 11 '06||CBJ 2 at DAL 3|
|Dec 21 '05||DAL 5 at CBJ 3|
|Nov 18 '05||CBJ 3 at DAL 6|