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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT, October 16, 2019
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio  Attendance: 14,683

Struggling Stars search for spark against Blue Jackets

Dallas Stars at Columbus Blue Jackets

  1. Columbus has won each of its last six against Dallas, dating back to 2016-17, holding the Stars to just six combined goals. Dallas' has converted on just 5.3 percent (1-for-19) of its power plays against the Blue Jackets in that span, its lowest rate against opponent over the last three seasons.
  2. The Blue Jackets edged the Hurricanes 3-2 on Saturday, getting 32 saves from Joonas Korpisalo. Columbus had an .839 save percentage through three games, second worst in the league (LA, .800). In the two games since, the Blue Jackets have had a .927 save percentage.
  3. The Stars lost at Buffalo 4-0 on Monday, keeping them at just one win on the season. Since moving from Minnesota for the 1993-94 season, the Stars had never had fewer than two wins in their first seven games of a season.
  4. Cam Atkinson had seven shots on goal in Saturday's win over Carolina. Atkinson has registered at least 200 shots in each of the last six seasons, a franchise record. Only Alexander Ovechkin has a longer active streak in the NHL.
  5. Joe Pavelski had an assist in the Stars' opener but has yet to record a point since. Pavelski's streak of seven games without a goal is his longest to begin a season in his 14-year career, and his one point is a career low through seven games.
  6. Four of the Stars' 13 goals this season have been scored in the first two minutes of a period. Only Winnipeg and New Jersey have scored more in the first two minutes this season (both five).

While the Dallas Stars are searching for any kind of spark to turn around a historically rough start, facing the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday might not help their cause.

Off to their worst start in nearly three decades, the visiting Stars look to also end their recent struggles against a Blue Jackets team aiming to win back-to-back games for the first time on the young season.

With the offseason additions of established stars Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry, Dallas had high hopes after pushing St. Louis to seven games in last year's Western Conference semifinals. Instead, it's been a nightmare beginning for the Stars at 1-5-1 -- the franchise's worst start since the Minnesota North Stars were in the same boat in 1990-91.

Pavelski has recorded just one point, and Perry has yet to play because of a broken foot (but could return this week). Dallas is averaging just 1.9 goals and has lost four games by one goal. Yet the Stars won't panic this early in the campaign.

"You dig in as a group," captain Jamie Benn, who has just two points, told the Stars' official website. "A little adversity never hurt. It seems like it's magnified with the beginning of the year here. You can kind of get away with stretches like this in the middle of the season, but to have a tough start like this, it sucks.

"But, we've got to keep digging in there."

Dallas must find a way to get back on track after being outscored 8-1 while losing its last two games. It suffered a 4-0 loss at Buffalo on Monday, when Ben Bishop (2.78 goals-against average) stopped just 18 shots.

That might not be easy considering the Stars have been outscored 22-9 during an 0-5-2 slide against Columbus. Dallas is 0-2-2 on the road in the series during that span.

The Blue Jackets have also struggled out of the gate, though not to the level of the Stars. However, John Tortorella's young club has posted both of its wins over the last three games. Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the tying goal early in the second period, and Pierre-Luc Dubois put Columbus ahead in the third in a 3-2 comeback win at Carolina on Saturday.

"They should feel good about themselves," Tortorella told the Blue Jackets' official website. "We had some grind to our game. I think that's something that's been missing consistently in our game. It was there most of the night."

Columbus goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (2.75 GAA) made 30 saves for his second win of the season. He's 1-1-0 with a 2.86 GAA against the Stars.

DuBois, meanwhile, has a goal in two straight games and a point in each of the last three. He recorded a goal in the Blue Jackets' 2-1 victory at Dallas last season.

Bishop has a 2.82 goals-against average while amid an 0-3-1 starting stretch against the Blue Jackets. Backup Anton Khudobin, who has allowed seven goals while losing his first two starts of the season, is 3-2-1 with a 2.16 GAA versus Columbus.

Benn has a goal and two assists over his last three games against the Blue Jackets.

--Field Level Media

Updated October 15, 2019

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