The NHL is set up with another great night of action throughout Thursday night. Eight games are up on the board throughout February 4. The Stars and the Blue Jackets will meet up in one of these games. These two teams have had solid starts to the season, which should lead to a great game on Thursday night. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN+.
Dallas has opened up the new season with a record of 5-1-1, which has them sitting in fourth place of the Central Division. The Stars have won their last game, which ended a two game losing streak. Dallas will look to turn it around with a win in this one. The Stars have had a hot start to this season and will look to earn another big win against Columbus.
The Blue Jackets have posted a record of 4-4-3 throughout the early part of this season, which has them in fifth place of the Central Division. Columbus has lost two straight games and will look to get back in the win column on Thursday night. The Blue Jackets have not been great this season, but have been able to keep it close. Columbus will look to keep this one close as well in this one.
These two teams have been solid to open up the season. The Stars have been a bit better after starting the season late. Columbus has been strong through the early portion of this season, but will look to get back in the win column in this one. This game will be the second half of a back to back, which should bump up the intensity. I expect a good one between these two teams.
The Stars and the Blue Jackets only met up once last season. Columbus hosted the game on October 16. Alexander Radulov finished with two assists on the night, while Miro Heiskanen and Joe Pavelski scored for Dallas. Sonny Milano, Alexander Wennberg and Zach Werenski all scored for the Blue Jackets. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 30 of 32 shots as Columbus earned a 3-2 win.
The Blue Jackets hosted the first game of this season’s series on February 2. Mikhail Grigorenko scored a goal and an assist for Columbus, but this time it was not enough. Joe Pavelski had two goals and two assists. Jamie Benn finished with a goal and two assists, while John Klingberg and Alexander Radulov both had two points. The Stars were able to dominate early to earn a 6-3 win.
These two teams have split the last two games they have played and will look for another win in this one. Dallas is coming off a dominant performance on Tuesday night, which they will look to turn into a win in this one. The Blue Jackets will look to come out much better in this one as they look to bounce back with a win on Thursday night.
The Stars power play has been very dominant so far this season, while their penalty kill has been solid. Dallas has capitalized on 13 of their 32 power play opportunities, which is a 40.6 percent power play. The Stars have given up 7 goals on 32 power plays against, which is a 78.1 percent kill rate. Dallas will look to keep the power play going in this one.
Columbus has been struggling on the power play, but their penalty kill has not been bad. The Blue Jackets have scored on 4 of their 29 power play chances, which is a 13.8 percent success rate. Columbus has killed off 20 of their opponents 25 power play attempts, which is an 80 percent penalty kill. The Blue Jackets will look to improve on the power play in this one.
These two teams have been solid on special teams this season, but it is Dallas that has the edge with their power play. The Stars opened up the season, beating up on the Predators and the Red Wings penalty kill, which is not great. I expect Dallas’ power play to fall back down to earth a bit as the season goes along. If Columbus can neutralize the Stars power play, it could give them a big chance to earn a win.
I expect Anton Khudobin to get the start in the net for Dallas on Thursday night. Khudobin has started five games this season, earning a record of 3-1-1. He has put up a save percentage of .922 and a GAA of 2.17 through those starts. Khudobin’s last start was against the Carolina Hurricanes, where he stopped 37 of 40 shots in a shootout loss.
Elvis Merzlikins will likely get the nod between the pipes for the Blue Jackets in this one. Merzlikins has started in five games so far this season, posting a record of 2-2-1. He has earned a .913 save percentage and a 2.76 GAA throughout this season so far. Merzlikins last start was against the Stars, where he stopped all 9 shots he faced after stepping in.
These two goalies have had solid starts to the new season. Khudobin has had the better start record and number wise, but Merzlikins has stepped up for the Blue Jackets at times. Merzlikins had a strong finish to Tuesday’s night after stepping in for Korpisalo and will look to build upon that in this one. If either goalie can step up early in this matchup, it could be enough to give their team the win.
These two teams have stepped up early in the season, which has them tied in points. The Blue Jackets have played more games though and have taken quite a few overtime losses. Columbus is coming off a tough loss on Tuesday night. The Stars have looked really dominant at times this season, but I think the Blue Jackets can break through in this one with a win.
BetOnline has Dallas listed as a -116 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Stars will win this game around 53.7 percent of the time. I think that this line makes a lot of sense with Dallas off to a hot start this season. At home though, this makes the Blue Jackets an intriguing underdog pick. If Columbus can come out hot in this one, they should be able to bounce back with a win.