The Dallas Stars ended their four game road trip in Columbus Thursday night and it didn’t end the way they would have liked. The Stars fell down early and found themselves playing catch up the rest of the game as they eventually fell to the Blue Jackets 4-3.
I’m pretty sure it’s a game in which Anton Khudobin would like a do over.
Anton Khudobin: "I don’t know what happened, but it wasn’t my night. That’s how I felt. I felt pretty good physically, mentally, but there’s something that wasn’t going my way."— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) February 5, 2021
Khudobin gave up four goals on just 25 shots. Two of the goals were shots that you’d expect the Stars’ goalie to stop. The last goal came on a pass right through the crease in which the goaltender could have probably used his stick to disrupt it.
That’s not to say this game is all on the net minder. The offense had a hard time on the other end. Multiple chances from point blank range didn’t find their way to the back of the net. Dallas will have to regroup as they come home to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon.
Perhaps the most frustrating period of the night was the first period. After giving up the first four shots on goal, Dallas dominated the rest of the period. All they had to show for this domination was a 2-0 deficit.
Oliver Bjorkstrand started the scoring for the Blue Jackets. On the third shot of the game, Bjorkstrand took the puck behind the net and from a very odd angle was able to get the puck past Khudobin for the score.
The Stars fought back and had some wonderful opportunities in the period. Roope Hintz and Jamie Benn both had prime opportunities to tie the game only to be stymied by Joonas Korpisalo.
Hard to say a crushing blow came in the first period but that’s what it felt like at the 16:59 mark. That’s when Jack Roslovic scored for the Blue Jackets to give them a 2-0 lead.
Shots: Dallas 12, Columbus 9
Score: Dallas 0, Columbus 2
In the second period, Dallas’ power play came alive. Early in the period Hintz got Dallas on the board on a beautiful deflection off a pass from Alexander Radulov.
It wasn’t long, though, and the Stars were down two goals again. Jamie Oleksiak tried knocking down a chip attempt from the Blue Jackets. Everyone seemed to lose sight of the puck on the play. Everyone except Patrik Laine, who took the puck and back handed it past Khudobin to give Columbus a 3-1 lead.
Dallas wasn’t finished, though. The Stars scored with just over two minutes left to play in the period. Alexnder Radulov shot a puck at the net. The puck glanced off Jason Dickinson and past Korpisalo for the goal.
The real hero of the second period was Blake Comeau. Before the second Stars goal Columbus was on a power play. For over a minute of the power play, Comeau didn’t have a stick because it had broke earlier. Comeau proceeded to shadow Laine and not allow him to sniff the puck for the rest of the power play. This kill helped set up the ensuing Dickinson goal.
Shots: Dallas 21, Columbus 17
Score: Dallas 2, Columbus 3
Once again Dallas had an opportunity to tie the game early in the third but it was Cam Atkinson that gave Columbus another two-goal advantage. The pass from Jack Roslovic found Atkinson in front of Khudobin and he was able to slide it five-hole to put the Blue Jackets up 4-2.
Dallas wasn’t done, though. A little over halfway through the third, Jamie Benn had the puck find his stick in front of the goalie. A quick flip of his stick allowed for the captain to send a back hander into the back of the net. Dallas was once again only trailing by one.
They could not find the equalizer. Hintz, Pavelski, Radulov and Heiskanen all had prime opportunities down the stretch but could not tie the game, even on a late-game power play in which Khudobin was pulled for the 6-on-4 advantage.
Shots: Dallas 28, Columbus 25
Score: Dallas 3, Columbus 4