NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 4th (All times Eastern)
Dallas Stars (29-22-10) at Columbus Blue Jackets (31-25-5), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - On Monday night, the Dallas Stars helped Lindy Ruff earn his 600th victory as an NHL coach.
They'll waste little time trying to get him win No. 601 as the Stars visit the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night in a matchup of wild card contenders.
Dallas squared off against Ruff's former team, the Buffalo Sabres, and managed a 3-2 victory on Alex Chiasson's power-play tally midway through the third period. Jordie Benn and Alex Goligoski also scored, Ray Whitney notched two assists and Kari Lehtonen produced 21 saves.
"We stuck with it tonight," said Goligoski. "It was one of those games where we couldn't get results. But we just kept throwing shots on net and it worked out."
Dallas improved to 5-1-2 in its last eight games and moved two points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Ruff, who served as head coach in Buffalo from 1997-2013, became the 12th member of the NHL's 600-win club and gave the credit to his players, past and present.
"It means I am on my way to 700 (wins), hopefully. I said to somebody probably 30 more losses I've got 500 of those too," said Ruff. "I think it means that I've had a lot of good players, coached some real good players. I had some real good teams. Those wins, for the most part, belong to those guys on the ice who go out and get them for you.
"The guys went out and got one for me tonight. We needed those two points to move up the standings."
The Blue Jackets are also in the hunt for a wild card spot, sitting one point back of the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings for the second bonus berth in the East. They take aim at a third straight win tonight after beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 on Monday.
Artem Anisimov scored a goal in a third straight game and defenseman Dalton Prout netted the second of his career and first since April 18 of last year.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots for the Blue Jackets.
"We changed some things in the neutral zone to generate some speed and get the forecheck going," said Columbus head coach Todd Richards. "I think we started to wear them down late in the game."
Columbus lost defenseman Ryan Murray in the first period of last night's game with a lower-body injury and he did not return.
03/04 10:50:46 ET