Columbus (14-16-7) at Dallas (15-10-11)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Dallas, TX
Temp: 59° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EST Wed Dec 23, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Things were looking promising for the Columbus Blue Jackets when they beat the Dallas Stars a month ago. Very little has gone right since.

Mired in a seven-game losing streak, the Blue Jackets look to avoid dropping 10 straight road games in a season for the first time in franchise history when they face the Stars on Wednesday night.

With a 4-1 victory at Dallas on Nov. 19, Columbus (14-16-7) won its third in a row and moved into fifth place in the Western Conference. The Blue Jackets, who made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history last season, appeared poised for another playoff run.

Instead, their season has deteriorated. Columbus is 2-10-5 since beating Dallas, slipping to 14th in the West.

“Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us,” coach Ken Hitchcock said after a 5-2 loss at Phoenix on Monday. “We have to sort this out ourselves.”

Most of the Blue Jackets’ problems have come away from Columbus, as they are 0-6-3 on the road since the win at the American Airlines Center. They have matched the franchise’s longest single-season road losing streak, set from Oct. 12-Nov. 20, 2005.

There isn’t one specific area to blame for Columbus’ awful stretch, as the team has struggled offensively and defensively.

The Blue Jackets have been held to two goals or fewer five times during their seven-game skid, and allowed five goals in three of their last five contests.

“I don’t even know what else to say,” captain Rick Nash(notes) said. “We’re not playing well and to add to that things aren’t bouncing our way either. We just have to dig deeper.”

Nash, who leads the Blue Jackets with 18 goals and 35 points, has three goals in the 17 games since the win at Dallas. He scored against the Stars last month, giving him five goals and two assists in his last six meetings with them.

Dallas (15-10-11) is coming off a 4-2 loss to San Jose on Monday, dropping it to 1-2-2 since Dec. 12.

The Stars had plenty of scoring opportunities, holding a 30-18 shooting advantage through two periods, but entered the third trailing 2-0. Jamie Benn(notes) and Loui Eriksson(notes) had third-period goals to bring Dallas within one, but the Sharks sealed the victory with an empty netter in the final minute.

“We had some quality chances,” Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas(notes) said. “The good thing is we battled until the end. We never really gave up in that game and that’s a positive sign.”

Marty Turco(notes) turned away 28 shots but fell to 3-4-4 with a 3.19 goals-against average since Nov. 25. Turco is 14-2-2 with a 2.34 GAA against Columbus, although he has gone 3-1-1 with a 3.63 versus the Blue Jackets since the start of last season after going 11-1-1 with a 1.82 GAA in his first 13 starts against them.

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Wednesday, Dec 23