Game #15 Recap: Dallas Stars at Columbus Blue Jackets

Here’s what happened.

Last night, the Columbus Blue Jackets returned home from their California road trip to take on the Dallas Stars in Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets, disappointed after taking just three points on the California trip, made several lineup changes for the game - Oliver Bjorkstrand was scratched in favor of Lukas Sedlak, and Scott Harrington was scratched in favor of Dean Kukan. The lines were also shuffled, priority wise.

Here’s what happened.

First Period

The game opened with some end to end actions, but the Dallas Stars were the first team to register a shot on goal with 2:15 gone as Jason Spezza forced a simple glove save from Sergei Bobrovsky. After a turnover in the slot from Zach Werenski, Seth Jones was able to block a Tyler Seguin shot to keep the game scoreless. Dubois registered the first Columbus shot with 4:45 gone as a rush down the left wing saw his attempt to stuff it behind Ben Bishop denied. Anthony Duclair forced a good save on Ben Bishop with 6:30 gone through a screen from Lukas Sedlak in front of goal.

The game started slowly - both team clearly had heavy legs, Dallas after playing an overtime game Monday night in Boston and Columbus playing their fifth game in eight days. The teams combined for six shots in the first eight minutes of the game. An anxious moment in front of the CBJ net with the puck bouncing around in front of Bobrovsky who was unable to control it, but Jason Spezza wasn’t able to bury it and Brandon Dubinsky was able to clear the danger. Josh Anderson, on a rebound from a Boone JEnner save, hit the post with 9:27 eclipsed in the first. Cam Atkinson helped to spring a rush by Pierre-Luc Dubois and Artemi Panarin that was denied, but Atkinson went down the tunnel favoring his left hip after falling to the ice in a collision.

Tyler Seguin was robbed by Sergei Bobrovsky on the doorstep at the 12:15 mark. Zach Werenski hit the outside of the goalpost with 5:45 to go, and with 5:30 to go he hustled back on the defensive end to break up a two on one with Valeri Nichushkin and Jamie Benn. Atkinson missed a GAPING cage with 4:30 to go, pushing it just wide. It was as close to an empty netter as a team gets during the run of play without Marc-Andre Fleury playing. After a scrum caused by a John Klingberg shot, Columbus was able to cover with three minutes to go in the period. Boone Jenner was denied on the doorstep seconds later by Bishop. Julius Honka took the game’s first penalty with 2:24 to go for shoving Jenner in the ensuing scrum, sitting for roughing. The Blue Jackets power play finally took advantage of a chance as Anthony Duclair was able to bury the team’s second power play goal at home of the season with Boone Jenner screening Ben Bishop. Upon review, it was credited to Boone Jenner in front of Bishop.

CBJ goal: Jenner from Duclair and Werenski, 19:00

Nope! The official scorer changed the goal as the second period started.

CBJ goal: Duclair from Werenski and Jenner, 19:00

The period ended with Columbus leading 1-0 and outshooting Dallas 15-8.

Second Period

The second period started with a strong shift from the Stars, but the Jackets were able to keep the Stars to the perimeter. The Blue Jackets juggled the defensive parings, with Markus Nutivaara partnering with David Savard, Ryan Murray with Seth Jones, and Dean Kukan playing with Zach Werenski. Josh Anderson forced a big save from Bishop with 4:45 gone. Columbus made a big push to open the second period, with Zach Werenski and Pierre-Luc Dubois driving much of the play. Easily Zach Werenski’s best game of the season through almost 30 minutes. With seven minutes gone, David Savard nearly doubled the lead, but it hit the post and went out of play.

After the first TV timeout of the second period, a push led by John Klingberg and Jamie Benn saw Sergei Bobrovsky deny all opportunities. Cam Atkinson saw a shot deflected out of play with 10:51 remaining.

Markus Nutivaara was able to double the lead on a one time shot. Artemi Panarin did all of the work on the right hand side before finding Nutivaara, who stepped into a shot and buried it for his second of the season.

CBJ goal: Nutivaara from Panarin and Savard, 11:05

Despite a solid push from Dallas after the goal, Columbus kept them scoreless. Bobrovsky made a stunning save on Blake Comeau to keep the score 2-0.

After a whistle, Roman Polak chased after Atkinson after Atkinson absolute laid out Miro Heiskanen at 14:58. On the ensuing power play, Duclair nearly had his second power play goal but he couldn’t direct a shot on a gaping net. The Jackets didn’t capitalize, but looked dangerous with four shots.

Shortly after the power play expired, Dallas was unable to clear the puck and Wennberg, taking a hit below the goal line, found Nick Foligno for the third Columbus goal of the night.

CBJ goal: Foligno from Wennberg, 17:14

The Blue Jackets went into the second intermission with a 3-0 lead, outshooting the Stars 27-17.

Third Period

Boone Jenner took an interference penalty with just 19 seconds gone in the period. Dallas ran a power play that would have made Columbus of the last two weeks proud, barely establishing zone time and not generating a threat to speak of as Columbus killed the penalty. Shortly after, Brandon Dubinsky took another interference penalty with 17:23 to go, giving Dallas another power play. On this power play, Dallas was able to capitalize as Jamie Benn was able to bury a cross ice past behind Bobrovsky.

DAL goal: Benn from Heiskanen and Klingberg, 3:55

After the Dallas goal, a strong shift from Duclair and Nutivaara helped to stem the bleeding and allow Columbus to regain a foothold in the game.

Through the nine minute mark of the period, both teams were playing end to end hockey, but neither team could generate a solid scoring chance. Nick Foligno saw a backhand attempt from the slot go wide at the ten minute mark of the period.

Mattias Janmark took a slashing penalty at the 10:36 mark of the final frame, giving the Jackets a chance to restore their three goal lead. They did not score, but did look extremely confident with the man advantage. Dallas pulled their goaltender with more than five minutes remaining, the smart move according to MoneyPuck. Atkinson shot wide at the empty net with 4:10 to go. Columbus, after a long shift, iced the puck with 3:37 to go. After another long shift, Columbus iced the puck with 3:06 to go.

Columbus was able to get a change at the 2:50 mark. Columbus was finally able to score an empty net goal from Ryan Murray with 1:54 to go.

CBJ goal: Murray from Jones and Dubinsky, 18:06


Columbus Blue Jackets 4 Dallas Stars 1

Final Thoughts

Sergei Bobrovsky played his best game of the season tonight. He made 27 saves on 28 shots and answered every bell necessary tonight.

The juggling of the defensive pairs seemed to help the Jackets settle down in the second period. Dallas never seriously threatened Columbus on the night.

A power play goal!

Finally, a sixty minute effort.

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