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Blue Jackets battle hard, beat Stars 4-1

Great all-around effort

Dallas Stars v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Big win on Monday night at Nationwide Arena, as the Columbus Blue Jackets dominated play for long stretches and defeated the visiting Dallas Stars 4-1.

The Jackets entered the game with shuffled lines, with Brad Larsen demoting Alexandre Texier to the fourth line and elevating Gregory Hofmann to a line with Jack Roslovic and Oliver BJORKSTRAND. That line put the team on the board in the first period, with Hofmann and Roslovic collaborating on a steal at the blue line, which sent Roslovic and BJORKSTRAND on a breakaway. Roslovic skated through traffic with power, then BJORKSTRAND finished with a snipe under the glove of Braden Holtby.

That line was not done. The second period was all Jackets, especially after an apparent Cole Sillinger goal was overturned by replay (correctly), and then a weak penalty on Jake Voracek was killed off. The crowd was buzzing, and they were rewarded with this play:

That is the first career NHL goal for Hofmann, and the 100th career assist for BJORKSTRAND.

The second line wasn’t the only one who played well. The fourth line was huge as well. The third goal came in the third period after an important faceoff win in the defensive zone.

The fourth line added a fourth goal with Texier’s empty-netter with 1:49 remaining. The Frenchman was more noticeable in this game than he had been since the opening minute of the opening game. He was more engaged on both ends of the ice. He was an effective penalty killer, and just missed a golden opportunity for a shorthanded goal in the second period, during the Voracek penalty. Jenner started a breakaway and when he passed to Texier the goal was wide open. Unfortunately the shot deflected off of the far post.

Other players of note

Patrik Laine: It felt like whenever Laine was on the ice — on the power play or at 5v5 — his teammates were going out of their way to set him up for a scoring chance. He led the team with five shot attempts at 5v5, and 11 across all situations (six on goal). None went in, but it feels like it’s only a matter of time.

Because Dallas first pulled the goalie with four minutes left, it meant that every line got a chance to play defense against the extra skater. The top line was out there for a long shift at the start of that period, and Laine actually held his own.

Gabriel Carlsson: I liked what I saw from Carlsson on both ends of the ice. He made a few good plays and the rest of the time was noticeable in a good way. If Adam Boqvist has to miss more time, Carlsson has earned the chance to play again.

Elvis Merzlikins: Elvis was outstanding again. Dallas finally got a goal with 2:19 remaining, after nearly two minutes of playing with an extra skater. I’m mad that Elvis couldn’t get the shutout.

Cole Sillinger: As I referenced, the rookie appeared to score his second career goal, but replay revealed that the puck did not completely clear the goal line. It was just millimeters away from being a good goal. Tough break. Later, he nearly had his first career fight, after he made a hard hit on Joe Pavelski along the boards and Denis Gurianov took exception. Sillinger took Gurianov down to the ice and remarkably a fighting penalty was not assessed. Instead, Gurianov got two minutes for roughing and Sillinger received a double minor for roughing, which is a penalty call I’m not used to seeing in that situation.

Up next

Your 4-2 Blue Jackets get three days to rest and practice before heading to Madison Square Garden on Friday night for a tough divisional matchup against the New York Rangers. The Rags are 4-2-1 to start the season, but dropped a home game 5-1 to Calgary tonight.