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Blue Jackets fall to the Stars in another lackluster performance

Tarasov makes 34 saves in NHL debut

NHL: DEC 02 Blue Jackets at Stars Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Columbus Blue Jackets couldn’t carry over the momentum after a strong first period, and faded away in the final two frames, losing to the Dallas Stars by a final score of 3-2. The Blue Jackets have now lost three in a row, with a tough stretch of games coming up.

Daniil Tarasov played admirably in his first taste of the NHL, stopping 34 of 37 shots, but it wasn’t enough as his team was badly outplayed for the final two periods.

Let’s take a look at how it happened.

First Period

It didn’t take long for Daniil Tarasov to be welcomed to the NHL. Just over a minute into the game, Jason Robertson found a rebound that Tarasov has lost track of and put it in the back of the net. There was some traffic in his crease, but the Columbus netminder had no idea where the puck was until it was too late.

1-0 Dallas (Robertson from Hakanpaa and Suter)

A few moments later it looked as if the Stars would test the rookie goalie again when Denis Gurianov came flying into the zone on an odd-man rush, but Zach Werenski made a great sliding poke-check to break up the play.

The Blue Jackets provided their answer when none other than Boone Jenner blocked a shot from the point and turned on the jets and beat Stars goalie, Jake Oettinger, on the backhand. It was another impressive individual effort from the captain for his team-leading 11th goal of the season.

1-1 (Jenner unassisted)

The Jackets kept up the pressure and on his very next shift, Jenner almost potted his second of the night when Oliver Bjorkstrand fed him the puck in tight from behind the net. Oettinger was able to get his stick on it and deflect it out of play.

After the Stars scored early, the Blue Jackets did not allow another shot for the next ten minutes. It was a period with few whistles and a lot of back and forth action. A great chance at the end of the period from Texier and Robinson almost had the Jackets scoring that late goal they so often give up, but Oettinger was up to the task.

All in all, a strong road period for the Blue Jackets after giving up the early goal. The Jackets outshot the stars 11-6 and had a 51.5 CF%.

Second Period

In the second it was the Blue Jackets turn to strike early. Alexandre Texier poked a puck past Ryan Suter and carried the puck into the Stars zone on the rush. Sean Kuraly was driving the net and may have provided a screen for Tex’s shot to beat Oettinger far-side to put the Jackets on top.

2-1 CBJ (Texier from Boqvist and Gavrikov)

It was just after the goal that Tarasov started to settle in and begin to look a bit more comfortable, making a few big saves to keep the lead intact. He was using his big frame well and smothering shots, not allowing many rebounds while Dallas was on the attack.

At the halfway point of the game, the Stars had erased the Jackets’ shot advantage and had taken the lead in that category, but still trailed on the scoreboard.

Tarasov had his biggest save of the night when he denied Tyler Seguin on the breakaway. Shortly after Andrew Peeke beat Oettinger, but rang it off the iron.

With about three and a half minutes remaining, the Stars scored off a broken play when Jani Hakanpaa tossed a puck wide of the net that hit Tyler Seguin as he was crossing the crease. It was a fluky goal that Tarasov had no chance on.

2-2 (Seguin from Hakanpaa)

Only 47 seconds later (a troubling trend is emerging) the Stars struck again. Joe Pavelski absolutely walked Sean Kuraly and found Jason Robertson who beat Tarasov short-side low for his second goal of the night.

3-2 Stars (Robertson from Pavelski and Suter)

The Jackets appeared to tie the game in the dying seconds of the period when Zach Werenski finished off a nifty passing sequence. Sadly, time had expired and the shot came about a half second too late. The Jackets trailed by a goal heading into the final twenty minutes.

The trend of poor second periods continued for the Jackets as they were outshot 19-6 and saw their CF% drop to a pitiful 25%.

Third Period

The final frame began similarly to the end of the second: with the Jackets on their heels. The Blue Jackets didn’t generate a shot for over five minutes to start the period. They would however, get a chance to even things up when Jamie Benn was called for boarding Oliver Bjorkstrand. It was a cheap, dangerous play that could have easily resulted in injury. Benn bullied the Blue Jackets all night with big — and often questionable — hits.

The Jackets were unable to muster anything on their first powerplay of the night as the Stars continued their domination of the game. Tarasov was forced to make a few big saves to keep the game within reach including two huge saves on back-to-back odd-man rushes.

Despite being in the lead, the Stars played like the desperate team, winning puck battles, maintaining pressure and generating chances. After the first period the Stars tripled up the Jackets in shots.

The Blue Jackets penalty kill got their first and only opportunity when they were dinged for too many men. The penalty kill unit was up to the task, not allowing any shots, but valuable time was eaten up, leaving the Blue Jackets only about five minutes to find the equalizer.

Tarasov left the net with just under two minutes remaining. The Jackets managed to maintain possession and throw some pucks on net, they just couldn’t find the back of it.

3-2 Stars Win

Up Next

The Blue Jackets are back at it on Saturday night when they travel to Washington for a divisional game against the Metro leading Capitals.