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Stars Fend off Questionable Officiating To Win 2-1

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) – Brad Richards scored the game-winning goal early in the third period to lift Dallas past Columbus, 2-1, at Nationwide Arena.

Richards ended a five-game goal drought with both tallies and Kari Lehtonen turned away 35 shots to earn the victory for the Stars, who have alternated wins and losses in their last five games.

Fedor Tyutin notched the only goal for the Blue Jackets, who have lost four in a row and five out of their last six while being held to three goals or less in each game.

“We did lots of good things,” Columbus head coach Scott Arniel said. “We had them hemmed in and had lots of opportunities to get the lead. We are at six games in nine nights and our energy level actually surprised me. I thought we were tenacious and deserved a better fate.”

Mathieu Garon stopped 21 shots in defeat for Columbus, which has split the first two meetings in the four-game season series.

Richards took a feed from Loui Eriksson on a 2-on-1 and wristed it past Garon from the left circle to put the Stars ahead 2-1 with 13:43 remaining in the game.

Columbus pulled Garon in the final minute and could not generate any attack before a slashing penalty was called on Antoine Vermette in the offensive zone with 20.9 ticks to play.

The Jackets could muster no further scoring chances as time ran out.

“We didn’t have our best period in the first,” said Dallas head coach Marc Crawford. “I thought they were really good and they came after us. We knew that they forecheck extremely hard and they did. I thought as a team, we played better in the second, and I thought our best period was the third.”

The Stars struck first on another Richards wrister, this one with the man advantage, at 13:13 of first period before the Blue Jackets picked up the equalizer in the final minute of the session.

Tyutin backhanded a rebound of an Ethan Moreau shot past Lehtonen from the doorstep with 48.4 seconds left for his first goal of the season.

Columbus had a goal by Derek Dorsett disallowed with five minutes left in the middle period after Moreau was ruled to have had contact in the crease with Lehtonen.

Lehtonen earned his first career win in three meetings with Columbus. Richards had scored only one goal in his last 10 games before Saturday night…Columbus had won four of the previous five meetings…Tyutin had gone 34 games since his last goal on March 30 against Tampa Bay…Moreau snapped a six-game streak without a point.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.