First-place Stars visit Columbus
STARS (16-8-1) at BLUE JACKETS (14-10-1)
– FS-SW (HD),FS-O (HD)
: Dallas 8-1-1; Columbus 5-4-1.
: This is the first of four meetings between the Western Conference squads this season. The Blue Jackets won three of the four contests last season including the last meeting, a 2-1 decision on Feb. 4.
: The red-hot Stars are looking for their seventh straight win on Monday night and attempt to create some space in the Pacific Division. Dallas has just a one-point lead atop the division after Phoenix earned a 3-0 win at Anaheim on Sunday night.
: The Stars are hitting a nice mid-season stride, defeating some very tough teams in their recent winning streak, including the Washington Capitals. The Stars currently sit in 6th place overall in the league and lead the Pacific Division with 33 points. Most recently, the Stars defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-3 in overtime on Saturday night at the American Airlines Center.
"We've continued to do good things at crucial times of the game and tonight, the power play shows up in overtime, we win a hockey game," center Steve Ott
said. "Maybe it wasn't our best game out of the six we got going here, but we stuck together and big character win."
: The Blue Jackets had a winning streak of their own, but that ended on Nov. 26 and Columbus has struggled ever since, dropping the last five contests. The most recent loss was a demoralizing 7-2 defeat to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.
"We have to figure out the remedy and how to be better," coach Scott Arniel said. "We have to find a way to win (Monday). I thought that we had a real good conversation after the game last night and again today. You have to move on from period to period, from game to game."
: Mike Ribeiro
has notched a point in Dallas' last six games. James Neal
has two goals and two assists in as many games. … R.J. Umberger earned 13 points in 15 games, but was blanked in Columbus' last two contests.
Injury Report – Mark Fistric
(groin) and Krys Barch (foot) are out for Dallas. … Blue Jackets forward Kristian Huselius (foot) is out indefinitely.
: Five of the Stars’ wins this season have been decided by one goal.
: Kari Lehtonen
notched a 1.73 goals-against average over four starts in Dallas’ recent run. He is expected to start on Monday night, according to the Dallas Morning News