After a rough weekend in Carolina, the Dallas Stars looked to bounce back against the Columbus Blue Jackets, with notorious Starkiller Patrik Laine making his debut in red and blue. But Jake Oettinger and the Stars kept Laine off the board entirely en route to a 6-3 victory.
After taking an early 1-0 lead in the first thanks to a goal by Joe Pavelski, the Stars went supernova in the second period, rattling off four more goals to the Blue Jackets’ one, including another tip by Pavelski. That chased Joonas Koripsalo from the crease, with Elvis Merzlinkins taking over for the rest of the game.
On the other side of the rink, Jake Oettinger made his second career NHL start. He wasn’t tested much earlier on, but let in two goals in quick succession in the start of the third. That seemed to revitalize the Stars, who shut down Columbus for the rest of the game. An empty-netter by Alexander Radulov sealed the deal in the final minutes.
Columbus will get their chance for revenge against Dallas on Thursday when the two teams take the ice once more. Puck drops at 6 p.m. CST.
The Stars put the heat on Joonas Korpisalo and the Blue Jackets early, cultivating in a perfect deflection by Joe Pavelski to put the Stars up 1-0 just minutes into the game:
That seemed to shake Columbus out of their shotless stupor, although the Stars continued to outshoot the Blue Jackets. The Stars had a few quality chances, including two rushes by Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov that unfortunately didn’t result in anything.
Things got a bit scrappy towards the end of the period, with Jamie Oleksiak getting sent to the box for tripping with 2:24 left. The Stars killed off the penalty, after which Oliver Bjorkstrand missed on a shot and instead hit Joel Hanley up high with the follow-through. Bjorkstrand was assigned a double minor for high-sticking with just five seconds left, setting up Dallas for an extended power play to start the second.
Shots: Dallas 13, Columbus 7
Score: Dallas 1, Columbus 0
Dallas went on to almost immediately score on the power play, as Joe Pavelski got yet another deflection into the net less than a minute in:
Unfortunately, Columbus held strong during their second penalty kill of the double minor, keeping the score 2-0. A couple minutes later, Mark Pysyk went to the box for holding, although not before Columbus got an extended possession in the offensive zone with the extra attacker.
This time it was Dallas who paid dearly for taking a penalty, as Seth Jones rocketed one past Oettinger. Jamie Benn, however, immediately answered with a goal of his own:
Halfway through, Dallas went back on the power play as Patrik Laine was called for high-sticking against Denis Gurianov. For a while, it felt like Columbus would succeed in killing it off, but Gurianov got his revenge, finding the back of the net with 10 seconds left:
Not much later after that, Blake Comeau squeezed one past Korpisalo, with the puck dancing on the red line. Radek Faksa performed the mop-up, launching it past the line and making it 5-1:
That was it for Korpisalo, as Elvis Merzlinkins took over. Roope Hintz took an unintended tripping call with 1:53 left to give Columbus the man-advantage, but Dallas held strong, wrapping up a tumultuous second period.
Shots: Dallas 27, Columbus 14
Score: Dallas 5, Columbus 1
If you thought it was going to be a blowout, you are gravely mistaken. Almost four minutes into the final frame, Columbus found the board for the second time as a Stars’ turnover behind the net led to a wraparound rebound by Mikhail Grigorenko that got past Oettinger.
Four minutes later, the Blue Jackets scored their third goal of the night, as Dean Kukan sent a wrister soaring into the top corner of the net from up top. That seemed to shake up the Stars, who continued their turtling effort but did a much better job at keeping pucks away from Oettinger.
That resulted in a rather uneventful period in terms of shots on goal until the end, when Columbus began getting desperate. Merzlinkins headed to the bench with a little over two minutes left, but Alexander Radulov squashed any dream of a comeback by Columbus with the empty-netter.
Final Shots: Dallas 33, Columbus 26
Final Score: Dallas 6, Columbus 3