Stars 3, Blue Jackets 2, SO
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:13 AM
The Dallas Stars made sure they weren't going to let another overtime game slip away.
Jussi Jokinen scored the lone shootout goal and added one in regulation, and Mike Smith made 33 saves to give the Stars a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Wednesday night.Brenden Morrow
also scored for the Stars, who rebounded from two consecutive overtime losses to Calgary and Chicago. Morrow sent the game into overtime on a goal that came with just 71 seconds remaining, capping a relentless third-period push that saw the Stars pepper Columbus goalie Fredrik Norrena with 15 shots.
For Morrow, it was vindication after his costly turnover gave the Flames the overtime win last Friday.
Jokinen, meanwhile, used a nifty delayed deke in scoring his 16th career shootout goal. Smith then denied Columbus forward Rick Nash's final attempt to earn his first win of the season.
"This is a big two points," Jokinen said. "This gives me a lot of confidence in the handful of moves I feel I have. I played with Norrena in Finland, so it was nice to bury one on him."
Nash had a goal and an assist, and Jiri Novotny also scored for Columbus, which lost for the first time in three home games this season.
Smith was activated off injured reserve prior to the game after missing three contests because of an arm injury. He turned aside all but one of the 28 shots he faced in the first two periods to help Dallas stay in it and win for just the second time in the last six tries against the Blue Jackets. The Stars had won 17 of the first 19 games of this series.
"I think Jussi comes up with new shootout moves in his dreams at night," Smith said. "This was a timely win for us. We had to find a way to get some points. I thought I was in for a long night when I faced a Nash breakaway a minute in, but we settled down and I was able to hold down the fort until we tied it."
With Smith out of the net in favor of an extra attacker, Morrow accepted a pass in the slot from Mike Ribeiro
and wristed a shot that slipped through Norrena's legs.
"It's certainly better than an overtime loss, and it's a step in the right direction," coach Dave Tippett said. "We didn't have enough quickness in the neutral zone and had too many giveaways, but we stayed with it and got the late goal. We need to find ways to win, and we did that tonight."
The Blue Jackets, guided by former Stars coach Ken Hitchcock, came out of the gate strong, utilizing their speed in creating several odd-man rushes against Smith over the first 40 minutes.
They also jumped on the board first, as Nash scored his third goal -- and first since the season opener -- of the season on a rare 2-on-0 break.
The play began at the Columbus blueline when Nikolai Zherdev was able to chip the puck off the boards and past Stars defenseman Trevor Daley
. Zherdev then skated past Daley and picked up the loose puck in the neutral zone. He carried the puck into the Dallas end, and slid it to Nash, whose quick wrist shot from the slot beat Smith on the stick side 1:42 in.
Dallas countered when Jokinen scored his second of the year -- and also first since the season opener -- 95 seconds later. From just below the outer hashmark of the right circle, Stu Barnes found a seam in the Columbus defensive coverage and slid a perfect pass to Jokinen. Jokinen fought off Blue Jackets defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen to tap the puck past Norrena.
Novotny's power-play goal at 8:24 of the third snapped the 1-1 tie, and couldn't have been odder. With the Blue Jackets on the power play, Nash fed a pass from the right corner intended for Novotny in front of Smith. But the lanky Smith was able to poke-check the puck away, only to see it bounce off Novotny's skate and stick before glancing off the left post.
Novotny, with Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas
draped over him, dove for the loose puck in the crease and nudged it into the empty net.
Norrena finished with 28 saves.
"We needed to play desperate," Jokinen said.
The Stars return home for their first meeting of the season with the defending Stanley Cup-champion Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. Faceoff is at 7, and the game can be seen on my27.
Dallas defeated Anaheim in three of the four games played at American Airlines Center last year, and was 4-3-1 overall against the Ducks.STARGAZING
--To make room for Smith, Dallas sent goalie Tobias Stephan to Iowa of the AHL. Stephan made one start with the Stars, losing to Chicago on Saturday in overtime.
--Forwards Krys Barch, Steve Ott
and Todd Fedoruk were scratched.
--The Stars are in the midst of a stretch where they play three of four on the road.
--Left wing Brad Winchester and Columbus forward Jared Boll got into a scrap in the second period. Both players were able to connect with a couple punches each, but the bout finished as a draw.
--Goalie Marty Turco is still being bothered by a sore leg.
--Leading scorer Niklas Hagman failed to register a point for only the second time this season.
--Norrena came into the game with a sizzling 1.71 GAA lifetime against the Stars.
--Columbus defenseman Ron Hainsey's blast from the point off a faceoff that would have won the game with two seconds left in overtime went wide.
--Jokinen's regulation goal snapped a 143:45 home shutout sequence for the Blue Jackets dating back to April 7.
--The Stars were 0-for-3 on the power play, failing to score with the man advantage for just the second time this season.