Stars play host to Blue Jackets aiming to rebound

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( - The previously streaking Dallas Stars will try to return to the win column Tuesday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets in a clash from American Airlines Center.

The Stars' season mark for consecutive wins is four, a number Dallas has reached twice over the past month of action. Dallas posted a four-game winning streak from Dec. 13-21 before losing on Dec. 23 against Toronto, and had another four-game run halted with an overtime loss this past Sunday in Chicago.

Despite the 5-4 road loss to the Blackhawks, the Stars own an 8-1-1 record over their past 10 games and find themselves five points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Columbus also has been able to pick up a slew of wins over the past month or so, posting an 11-2-1 mark since the beginning of December. Still, the Blue Jackets have a ways to go to prove themselves playoff worthy, as they are eight points removed from the final wild card spot in the East.

Prior to dropping Sunday's tilt in the Windy City, the Stars had outscored the opposition by a 13-1 score in their previous two outings. Dallas notched a 6-0 win over Arizona on New Year's Eve and then slammed Minnesota 7-1 on Saturday before losing to Chicago.

After going a perfect 3-0 on their homestand, the Stars dropped Sunday's road decision in overtime. Dallas led by a goal on four separate occasions, but let Chicago answer ever time.

Dallas' last lead came after Erik Cole made it 4-3 at 4:05 of the third, but Brad Richards would tie it for the hosts with 3:57 left in regulation. Patrick Sharp then tallied the OT game-winner at the 1:17 mark of the extra session.

Cole had two goals and an assist for Dallas, while Kari Lehtonen surrendered all five Chicago goals on 38 shots. Alex Goligoski had two assists in the loss.

"Disappointing. We did a lot of great things and put up over 30 shots," said Cole. "Hopefully we can let it wear on us for a couple days, then carry over that frustration and that anger."

The Stars fell to 9-7-1 as the guest. They will be out on the road for tests at Nashville and Colorado after hosting the Blue Jackets tonight.

Dallas is 9-7-1 as the home club. The Stars expect to go with Lehtonen in goal tonight. He is 6-5-1 with an excellent 1.92 goals against average in his career against Columbus.

The Blue Jackets began the 2015 calendar year with Saturday's regulation loss in Arizona, but they rebounded by claiming the second test of a four-game road trip the following night in Colorado. Columbus hasn't dropped back-to-back games since an 0-5-1 slide from Nov. 18-29.

David Savard recorded the tie-breaking goal with 1:01 remaining to lift Columbus to a 4-3 win over the Avalanche at Pepsi Center.

Savard committed a costly gaffe in the game's opening minute, turning the puck over in his own end to set up Jarome Iginla's marker for Colorado just 30 seconds in. The blueliner atoned for the miscue with time winding down, however, one-timing a give from Nick Foligno that Semyon Varlamov couldn't handle as it trickled into the Colorado net.

"It was not my best game, but everybody kept positive about the mistake," Savard said. "Foligno made a great play (on the winning goal). I was just happy to get open and get the puck."

Brandon Dubinsky potted his first two goals of the season earlier to help the Blue Jackets bounce back from Saturday's 6-3 loss to the Coyotes.

Ryan Johansen scored as well in support of Curtis McElhinney's 27-save effort. Johansen extended his point streak to seven games, during which he's posted three goals and four assists.

Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to be back between the pipes for Columbus tonight. The Blue Jackets No. 1 goaltender owns a 6-1-1 record and 1.97 GAA over eight career meetings with the Stars.

Dallas will aim for a season series sweep of the Blue Jackets tonight after taking a 4-2 decision in Columbus on Oct. 14. That victory halted a three-game losing streak in the series for the Stars, who have still lost three straight on home ice versus the Jackets.