For the first time all season, the Dallas Stars faced off against an opponent with a losing record. But thanks to a Herculean effort by Joonas Korpisalo, the Columbus Blue Jackets ended up beating the Stars 3-2.
There were positives to take away from the loss — the Stars put consistent offensive pressure on Columbus throughout most of the game. Denis Gurianov looked good in his first game back from the AHL, and Corey Perry was great in his first game in victory green. Plus, Joe Pavelski scored his first goal of the season, finally shaking that monkey off of his back.
But at the end of the day, a loss is a loss. At 1-6-1, there are no moral victories for Dallas.
To be honest, things started out pretty well for the Stars. The team went on an early power play when Sonny Milano got called for hooking, and while they didn’t score (obviously), they looked pretty decent. Most notably, Corey Perry setup Denis Gurianov for an excellent shot that was unfortunately robbed by Joonas Korpisalo, which would be a recurring bit for the rest of the evening.
Things took a turn for the worse a few minutes after the power play ended as Zach Werenski opened the scoring for Columbus. Ben Bishop might have made the save, but Taylor Fedun accidentally bumped into him right as Werenski shot, likely throwing him off:
Seemingly unphased, the Stars continued to get quality chances on net, including a nice shot by Corey Perry. The team would soon get another power play opportunity when Pierre-Luc Dubois delivered a nasty looking cross check against Miro Heiskanen that sent him into the boards. Unfortunately, the Stars’ power play looked like their usual selves again, and the man advantage passed uneventfully.
To make things worse, the man advantage was yet again followed by a Blue Jackets goal, this time courtesy of Alexander Wennberg. Once again, we can point our fingers at a Stars defenseman, as Jamie Oleksiak turned the puck over to Wennberg:
Despite falling in an early hole, the Stars refused to give up, continuing to put offensive pressure on Korpasilo and the Blue Jackets. Their efforts paid off when Denis Gurianov drew a penalty and Miro Heiskanen fired one home before the Stars were punished with another power play:
The Stars had a couple more scoring chances, including a Korpasilo stop on Joe Pavelski in the final seconds, but ultimately failed to convert. It wasn’t the ideal start to the game, but at least Dallas finished the first period down by only one goal.
Score: Dallas 1, Columbus 2
Shots: Dallas 16, Columbus 11
The Stars continued their offensive momentum to start the second period, as Corey Perry had yet another scoring opportunity. Things would grind to a halt, however, when Taylor Fedun went to the box for a holding call on Pierre-Luc Dubois. The Stars killed off the penalty but struggled to get going on offense afterwards, failing to register a single shot on net for a considerable stretch.
Things picked back up again about 13 minutes into the period as the Stars begin bullying the Blue Jackets lack of a better term. Dallas spent 3-4 minutes outside of their defensive zone, regaining possession every time Columbus tried to get the puck out of their own zone. Joonas Korpasilo, however, continued to dazzle, and the Stars failed to score on any of their chances.
When Columbus finally got the puck past center ice, it was with two(!) 2-on-1 opportunities, both of which were robbed by Ben Bishop. Andrej Sekera committed a holding penalty on the second, and the Blue Jackets almost scored on their own 6-on-5 when Oliver Bjorkstrand had a wide open net.
The puck thankfully deflected off of Miro Heiskanen’s skate, and the Stars proceeded to kill off the ensuing power play. With less than a minute left, neither team failed to score, and the period drew to a close.
Score: Dallas 1, Columbus 2
Shots: Dallas 22, Columbus 20
The third started with more of the same, as Joonas Korpasilo and Ben Bishop each made a key within the first minute. The two teams proceeded to trade scoring chance after scoring chance, both hungry to get another goal on the board.
For awhile the Stars looked like they’d be the ones to strike gold, but instead a breakaway opportunity gave Sonny Milano his first goal of the season, stunning everyone with... well, this:
That goal would end up being the killing blow, but the Stars wouldn’t go quietly into that good night. After killing off a Roope Hintz interference penalty with just over four minutes left, the Stars pulled Bishop in an effort to come back and tie the game. Surprisingly, they actually managed to score in the dying seconds, as Joe Pavelski netted his first of the season:
Still, it was too little too late, and the night ended with yet another Stars loss.
Final Score: Dallas 3, Columbus 2
Final Shots: Dallas 32, Columbus 35
The Stars continue their road trip on Friday when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Puck drops at 6:00 CDT.