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Dallas Stars Use Big Second Period to Down Blue Jackets 5-1

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Frustration, then smiles as the Stars took their time getting it right at the AAC this evening.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars have a certain reaction to losing games. They don't like it. They don't like it one bit.

The Columbus Blue Jackets were the latest to taste Dallas' displeasure in a 5-1 defeat Tuesday night at American Airlines Center, marking the eighth time in eight opportunities the Stars have won following a defeat.

That's an average margin of victory of two full goals following a loss. This one looks authoritative in the box-score as well, even if that doesn't quite tell the whole story.

The Stars were lucky to get out of the first period alive after 14-0 run on shots in the middle of the frame spanning the better part of 11 minutes as they bombarded Kari Lehtonen and beat the home team to every loose puck.

Dallas would get a bit of good fortune when the attack stopped when a Johnny Oduya shot from the left point fooled Joonas Korpisalo to give them a 1-0 lead, when things could have been much different against stiffer competition. Columbus out-shot them 16-8 in the frame.

It wasn't exactly the start against St. Louis, but it was close enough to warrant concern. The Eastern Conference is forgiving, however, where more upcoming divisional play is, as they found out, definitely not.

Columbus tied things at one on the power play early in the second period but the Stars had started righting the ship possession-wise at that point and Kari Lehtonen was brilliant early on.

Then this happened-

That's not entirely accurate, of course. There were actually about 13 minutes of "not much" that preceded duck, duck, goose time as the Stars continued to play fast and loose with puck. Columbus had a number of golden opportunities while the Stars carried play for the most part, and then the fireworks started.

A couple of wrongs made a right at 13:02 when Ales Hemsky fired a puck wide that could have launched back out the other way as Alex Goligoski made a hard run at the net. Serendipitously he was not caught deep, and the puck bounced off the end boards and right to Goligoski's stick for an easy slam dunk a 2-1 lead.

Johnny Klingenbergerman then sent a beautiful stretch-pass to Tyler Seguin at the opposing blue line and #91 got rookie to Korpisalo to open that five hole like and deposited the rubber for a 3-1 lead.

Thirty seconds later Cody Eakin and Jamie Benn would combine their forces to engineer another Tyler Seguin bid and the Stars were off to the races 4-1, frustration in the building replaced with glee.

Joonas Korpisalo had his invitation to this holiday party revoked at the second intermission and Curtis McEhlinney entered the festivities to similar treatment as Mattias Janmark was allowed to stroll unfettered through his crease, depositing his own rebound for a 5-1 lead.

Antoine Roussel would come to the aid of a beleaguered Ales Hemsky in an entertaining bout of fisticuffs and Val Nichushkin kept almost scoring but didn't. Kari Lehtonen was tasked with occasional brilliance as the game wound down, and earned an assist on the first Tyler Seguin goal by virtue of having passed the puck to Klingberg- A smart thing to do.

The second period resurgence tonight was thanks in part to a "ruffling" of the lines after a bad first-

Benn-Eakin-Seguin
Sharp-Spezza-Nichushkin
Roussel-Janmark-Hemsky

The win brings their total to 48 points while the Blues win to get to 40. Chicago lost this evening, Nashville fell in overtime and the Wild pasted Vancouver 6-2- So it was a mixed bag on a heavy Central division night.

The Stars now get a Flames team on Thursday that has won six straight and are 7-2-1 in their last ten- Possible bad timing for Dallas as they'll be hunted again, leaders of the pack atop the Western Conference.