Yeee-yahh. In Dallas tonight, the league best Stars battle a fatigued Blue Jackets team, in the second half of back-to-back games for the Blue Jackets. Dallas last played Saturday, suffering their first shutout loss of the season to divisional rival St. Louis, 3-0. Columbus played last night, suffering a 2-1 regulation loss to the Bolts.
This offseason turned out to be another productive one for the Stars. The Stars lost Jonas Enroth (LA), Shawn Horcoff (ANA), and Jussi Rynnas (EUR) to unrestricted free agency. They also dealt Trevor Daley (now on Pittsburgh) and Ryan Garbutt to Chicago. The Stars acquired Patrick Sharp and Stephen Johns from Chicago; they acquired Antti Niemi from San Jose at the draft; and they signed Johnny Oduya as a UFA.
In terms of statistics, Dallas has three players in the top ten in terms of point scoring- Jamie Benn (40), Tyler Seguin (40), and John Klingberg (30). Benn leads the league in goals (20); Seguin is fifth (15). Seguin and Klingberg are tied for third in the league for assists (25); Benn is sixth (20). In terms of the win/loss department for goalies, Antti Niemi is tied for 11th with 12 wins; Kari Lehtonen is tied for 16th with 10.
For Columbus, in contrast, has nobody in the top 30 for point scoring. In the goal department, Scott Hartnell and Boone Jenner are tied for 19th with 12 goals. For goalies, Sergei Bobrovsky is tied for 14th with 11 wins.
In terms of lineup changes, Colton Sceviour and Jyrki Jokipakka are out; Travis Moen and Patrick Nemeth are in. For Columbus, Big Mac is in; Lehtonen is in for Dallas.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Boone Jenner – Ryan Johansen – Brandon Saad
Scott Hartnell – Alexander Wennberg – Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert – Brandon Dubinsky – Nick Foligno
Gregory Campbell – William Karlsson – David Clarkson
David Savard - Andrew Bodnarchuk
Jack Johnson - Ryan Murray
Fedor Tyutin – Kevin Connauton
Injured: Sergei Bobrovsky (lower body), Rene Bourque (upper body), Cody Goloubef (jaw), Markus Hannikainen (shoulder)
Scratched: Jared Boll, Dalton Prout
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Mattias Janmark – Jason Spezza – Patrick Eaves
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Patrick Sharp
Travis Moen - Vernon Fiddler – Ales Hemsky
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya – Jason Demers
Patrik Nemeth - Jordie Benn
Scratched: Jyrki Jokipakka, Jamie Oleksiak, Colton Sceviour
Players to Watch
1. Ryan Johansen. Johansen has three points in his last five games, and 22 points in 30 games this season. He and the rest of the offense needs to produce to get this team rolling again.
2. Patrick Sharp. Tonight, Sharp is on the third freaking line!!! He has the same amount of points as Johansen in a secondary scoring role. Watch for him to produce for Dallas.
Enjoy the games tonight. More to come…