After a strong showing in a losing effort against Chicago Saturday, the Jackets returned to action against the Stars on Monday night. It wasn't a pretty game, and the Columbus powerplay wasted a ton of opportunities, but the Jackets put forth a gutsy effort to defeat the Stars.
The Jackets came out with the kind of jump not seen since the first two games of the year. Ryan Johansen was especially noticeable, leading the charge with two offensive chances early. The forwards were entering the zone with speed, causing the Stars to scramble.
Three minutes into the game, Colton Gillies, making his season debut, drew a penalty when he was boarded by Philip Larsen. The powerplay was not able to establish a pattern, and the Stars were able to successfully kill the man advantage.
There were very few whistles outside of that initial penalty, leading to a fast-paced period. The Jackets had failed to register a shot by the midway point of the frame, but they were showing good things with the puck. Johansen continued to impress, as did Artem Anisimov. These two players at times looked like they were almost begging for their linemates to match their creativity.
At the 11:22 mark Brandon Dubinsky was whistled for delay of game after he fired the puck over the glass. Thanks to some strong penalty killing and a lack of strong chances by Dallas, the Jackets came up with a solid kill.
The Jackets were on their heels nearing the end of the period when Dallas' Eric Nystrom was sent off for interference. The best chance of the man advantage was not off the stick of a Columbus player, rather Dallas had an excellent chance off a Jack Johnson defensive zone turnover. After that gaffe, the Jackets recovered, but were still only able to get one shot on net.
at 18:29 the Jackets again went up by a man, after Derek Dorsett was the recipient of a Jordie Benn high stick. The Stars once again had the best offensive chance, even though they were down a man. The pairing of Johnson and James Wisniewski were out of sync to say the least.
End of 1st Period, 0-0.
The Jackets started the period with powerplay leftovers. At the end of the advantage, Johnson threw the puck on net, but Kari Lehtonen came up with a highlight-reel, behind the back glove save to keep the game scoreless.
Dallas went up by a man at 2:41 of the period when Anisimov was called for hooking Loui Eriksson. Mark Letestu had a shorthanded chance early in the kill, but the Stars went up by one when Larsen threw the puck on net through traffic, beating Bobrovsky.
1-0 Stars: Philip Larsen (1) - Alex Goligoski (3), Jamie Benn (1)
The Jackets did not fold up after allowing the goal, rather they embarked on their strongest stretch of offensive hockey to that point in the game. Consecutive strong offensive chances by Derick Brassard and Brandon Dubinsky gave the Jackets a spark.
Vernon Fiddler was called with 11:16 to go for the double-whammy of hooking and high-sticking on Derick Brassard. If that wasn't enough, the Jackets went up by two men when Tom Wandell closed his hand on the puck after a faceoff. Though they poured on some decent pressure, they were unable to beat Lehtonen. He was the Stars' top penalty killer by a country mile.
The pace of the game took a sharp turn upwards, with each team trading rushes. It was very exciting hockey, and with slightly more than two minutes left in the period, the Jackets took off on the rush again. Anisimov carried the puck over the Dallas blueline, dropping it for Fedor Tyutin, who fed a speeding Derek Dorsett on the left wing. Dorsett snapped off a quick shot, beating Lehtonen to tie the game.
1-1: Derek Dorsett (1) - Fedor Tyutin (4), Artem Anisimov (1)
With 1:14 left in the period, the Stars ramped up their pressure, and the Jackets took a late penalty. The Stars were unable to convert before the horn sounded.
End of 2nd Period, 1-1.
The Jackets killed off the remaining penalty time to start the period, and shortly after resuming five-on-five play, Ryan Johansen had a great scoring chance. Gaining momentum, the Jackets applied more pressure, culminating in Vinny Prospal throwing a low-percentage shot at night from the right corner. The puck snuck through Lehtonen's gear, giving the Jackets the lead.
2-1 Jackets: Vinny Prospal (2) - James Wisniewski (1), Jack Johnson (1)
The goal gave the Jackets a ton of energy, and they spent the next few minutes dominating puck possession. Every line was creating chances, but Lehtonen stood tall for Dallas.
Dallas began their push midway through the period. Dallas started to apply pressure, including a play where former Jacket Ray Whitney fed Michael Ryder with a pass, with Ryder wiring it on net. Bobrovsky came up with a huge save to maintain the lead for the home team.
Shortly thereafter, Adrian Aucoin ripped a hard shot on the Dallas net, beating everything but the crossbar. The Stars turned up-ice, and after some scrambling in front of the Columbus net, Nikitin was sent off for holding at 10:31. The Jackets were fantastic on the kill, earning a huge ovation from those in attendance.
The teams traded chances until late in the game, when Dallas pulled Lehtonen. After a flurry by Dallas, Jamie Benn, playing in his first game of the year, boarded Tyutin in a hit that will no doubt be looked at by Brendan Shanahan. Nikitin immediately stood up for his defense partner, taking on Benn. Each player was given a roughing call, with Benn also picking up a boarding penalty. The Jackets went on the powerplay for the last couple of seconds of the game, hanging on for the win.
Final Score: 2-1 Jackets.
- Ryan Johansen was fantastic tonight. It was a shame he couldn't pot one.
- Vinny Prospal with the game winner. #vinning
- The goaltenders. Bobrovsky and Lehtonen were both great tonight.
- Artem Anisimov continues to impress.
Bottom of the Barrel
- The Columbus powerplay. Yikes.
- R.J. Umberger really needs to get that first goal.