Stars Close Out Homestand With 2-1 Loss To Blue Jackets

The Stars wrap up a three-game homestand today and look to win their second consecutive game.

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Stars Lose 2-1 To Blue Jackets

(Sports Network) – Rick Nash scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Steve Mason stopped 29 shots, as the resurgent Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Dallas Stars, 2-1, at American Airlines Center.

Matt Calvert notched the other goal for the Blue Jackets, who have won five of their last six to climb within four points of the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Brad Richards scored the lone goal for the Stars, who have lost seven of their last nine games. Kari Lehtonen was peppered with 39 shots, but kept Dallas in the game with 37 saves.

“It was a pretty hard-fought game,” said Stars forward Steve Ott. “We had Kari playing phenomenal back there for us, but it just wasn’t enough.”

Just 4 1/2 minutes into the game, Dallas started the scoring during a strong power-play attack that saw several shots sail wide of the net. Finally, Richards carried the puck into the lower part of the left circle and wristed it past Mason.

Columbus responded, though, less than a minute later off an offensive zone faceoff win. From the high slot, Calvert snapped it past the outstretched leg of Lehtonen.

From there, the visitors dominated by outshooting the Stars in the first period, 18-6.

The domination finally paid dividends at the 6:33 mark of the second when Nash raced out to a breakaway and roofed a backhander for a 2-1 lead just before Lehtonen could poke it away.

“It was just kind of an old school backhand,” Nash said. “I thought it went off the post and then everyone started to raise their hands.”

Columbus held onto the lead the rest of the way as Mason made 14 saves in the final period to preserve the win.

Game Notes

Columbus has won five straight on the road…Dallas defenseman Nicklas Grossman left the game in the first with a lower-body injury and did not return…Dallas will start a three-game road trip in Edmonton on Tuesday…Columbus will host Los Angeles on Wednesday…Richards has posted six points in his past six games…Anton Stralman assisted on both of Columbus’ goals…Dallas was 1-for-6 on the power play and squandered two power play chances in the third period…Columbus was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.


Stars Vs. Blue Jackets: Dallas Looks To Close Out Homestand With Win

(Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars wrap a three-game homestand this afternoon aiming for consecutive victories as they battle the playoff-hopeful Columbus Blue Jackets at American Airlines Center.

The Stars dropped an overtime decision to the Coyotes to begin this stand on Wednesday for their sixth loss in seven games. However, Dallas moved back into the win column and improved to 5-1-2 in its last eight at home with Friday's 4-3 shootout victory over Chicago and former Stars goaltender Marty Turco.

Stephane Robidas, Brad Richards and Brenden Morrow all scored in regulation to erase an early three-goal deficit, while Morrow, Richards and Mike Ribeiro all beat Turco in the shootout.

Kari Lehtonen made 23 saves for Dallas, which moved back into first place in the Pacific Division, a point up on Phoenix and two ahead of both Anaheim and San Jose.

"We were going through a patch there where it wasn't too much fun," said Richards. "Then we go down 3-0 in front of a sold-out building and it wasn't too pretty for a bit, but we knew if we kept plugging away we could come back."

While the Stars are battling for a division crown, the Blue Jackets are just trying to work their way into a playoff spot. They have won four of their last five to climb within six points of the eighth-place Wild.

After blowing a two-goal lead in Wednesday's loss to San Jose that halted a three-game winning streak, Columbus rebounded with a 3-1 triumph over Colorado on Friday.

Rick Nash and Derick Brassard both scored second-period goals and Derek MacKenzie sealed things with an empty-net goal to give Columbus its sixth victory in nine games.

"We did get off to a slow start and my comments to the team [at the first intermission] were that our forwards had to get going," said Columbus head coach Scott Arniel. "I thought the second period our forwards started to get going, we got after their defense, started to create some turnovers and obviously got some big goals."

Mathieu Garon made 31 saves to collect his first win since Dec. 21 in his first start since Jan. 18. Steve Mason could get the start today and is 2-1-1 with a 2.36 goals-against average versus the Stars.

Columbus has won four straight as the guest, but has lost two of its last three in Dallas. The two teams split a pair of meetings in Ohio earlier this year and the Stars' 2-1 victory on Dec. 18 snapped a three-game slide to the Blue Jackets.

Lehtonen made 35 saves in that win to improve to 1-1-1 with a 1.64 GAA versus Columbus.

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