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The Columbus Blue Jackets are enjoying by far their best stretch of the season. Winning in Dallas might really help prove they have turned things around.
To extend its longest winning streak of the season on Tuesday, Columbus must win a road game against the Stars for the first time in franchise history.
The Blue Jackets (10-16-2) opened the season 5-13-2, but have played better since coach Ken Hitchcock was hired on Nov. 22 and enter this matchup on a four-game win streak.
Columbus has been winning convincingly, beating its last four opponents by a combined 18-3 score. None of those games were decided by fewer than three goals.
"I can't even explain how great it feels to win, and to put wins together," center Dan Fritsche said. "Streaks can stay alive because we don't want to lose."
All the Blue Jackets have ever done in Dallas (20-10-0) is lose. The team has dropped all 10 of its games there, getting outscored 35-14.
The Stars are 17-3-0 overall in the series, though Columbus snapped a 10-game losing streak to Dallas with a 5-4 win on April 18 in the last meeting.
Marty Turco, however, was not in Dallas' net for that contest and it's likely he will be in it Tuesday. He's won all nine of his starts against the Blue Jackets, never allowing more than three goals and posting a 1.99 goals-against average.
Turco has started the last five games for Dallas and won four of them, posting a 1.56 GAA.
Now he'll look to help stymie the Columbus power play, which has gone 7-for-20 over the past four games. The Blue Jackets set a team record with five power-play goals in a 6-2 home win over Ottawa on Sunday.
"Our power play's had good rotation now for almost two weeks," Hitchcock said. "We're moving the puck well and we've got people in position and we've got bodies working to go to the net."
The Stars have allowed only two goals in their opponents' last 23 power plays.
Fritsche, who has seven points in his last four games, scored the first two power-play goals of his career against Ottawa.
Left wing Rick Nash also had a pair of man-advantage goals, both in the first period. He had not scored in six consecutive games and had totaled only seven through his first 25 games of the season after leading the team each of the past two seasons, compiling 72 goals.
"Goals come in batches," said Nash, who has a team-high six power-play goals. "Hopefully, now they'll start going in."
The Stars return home after a 4-3 overtime victory at Phoenix on Saturday. Right wing Jere Lehtinen scored his second goal of the game with 4.6 seconds remaining in the extra period.
"We competed hard and found a way to win," Dallas coach Dave Tippett told the Stars' official Web site. "That's all I can ask of our guys."
Dallas could see leading scorer Mike Modano return after he missed the last three games with a lower body injury.
That would be bad news for goaltender Fredrik Norrena, who is Columbus' No. 1 goaltender because Pascal Leclaire had to leave Sunday's game with a lower body injury. Norrena had started the previous three games, winning them all as he allowed only one goal.
Ty Conklin was brought up from the club's AHL affiliate in Syracuse to back up Norrena. Defenseman Filip Novak also was called up to take the roster spot of captain Adam Foote, who suffered a lower body injury in Sunday's win.