The winless skid is over for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Vinny Prospal broke a 1-1 tie just 1:22 into the third period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves as the Jackets ended a four-game slide with a 2-1 win against the Dallas Stars at Nationwide Arena on Monday night.
Eleven of Bobrovsky's stops came in the third period, as the newcomer helped his club win for the first time since a 3-2 shootout victory at Nashville on opening night.
"We have to win with a good team effort night after night," Prospal said. "That's the way we have to play – with the willingness to block shots, do the little things. I think this is the way we have to play to be successful this year."
Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves for the Stars, who have played six consecutive one-goal games to begin the season, losing the last three.
Philip Larsen had the lone goal for Dallas.
The Blue Jackets took the lead for good when Prospal collected the puck in the right corner and fired a shot along the goal line that appeared to catch Lehtonen by surprise, slipping into the net.
"Sergei was very good. He had some big saves in the third period," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "When a goalie makes some saves like that, that gives you confidence playing in front of him. You don't have to think, `I've got to get the puck out' because you know he's back there. It gives everyone confidence."
Jamie Benn saw his first action of the season for the Stars, who have lost three in a row. He signed a five-year, $26.5-million contract last week.
Jaromir Jagr, needing just one goal to break a tie with Luc Robitaille (667 goals) to move into 10th on the all-time list, returned to the Dallas lineup after missing one game with a sore back.
Larsen scored his first goal of the season on the power play at 4:13, rocketing a shot from the right point that slipped between two players to befuddle Bobrovsky, who was screened on the play. Benn picked up an assist.
Soon after, Vernon Fiddler picked up two minors for a hook and high sticking on the same sequence. Then Tom Wandell gloved the puck in the defensive zone and was called for delay of game -- giving the Blue Jackets a full two-man advantage.
The Stars' defense completely shut down the power play, limiting Columbus to passes back and forth out front, but no real scoring chances.
Despite generating no offense when they had a man advantage, the Blue Jackets then tied it at even strength.
Lehtonen made a spectacular save in the opening minute of the second. Jack Johnson deked and then fired a shot that Lehtonen got a piece of, the puck flipping over his shoulder. He reached back with his glove to make the grab as the puck was going into the net.
The Stars' penalty kill also dominated the opening period. Perfect in all six opportunities coming in when on the road and a man down, the Stars stifled the Blue Jackets, who had three power plays.
"We got away from the game plan and we started turning pucks over," Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said. "Instead of them losing momentum from all the penalty kills, we gave it to them with the turnovers at the blue line."
Material from wire services was used in this report.
|Philip Larsen Boarding against Colton Gillies|
|Brandon Dubinsky Delaying Game - Puck over glass|
|Eric Nystrom Interference against Jared Boll|
|Jordie Benn Hi-sticking against Derek Dorsett|
|Artem Anisimov Hooking against Loui Eriksson|
|Vernon Fiddler Hi-sticking against Derick Brassard|
|Vernon Fiddler Hooking against Derick Brassard|
|Tom Wandell Closing hand on puck|
|Nikita Nikitin Cross checking against Jamie Benn|
|Nikita Nikitin Holding against Jaromir Jagr|
|Jamie Benn Boarding against Artem Anisimov|
|Jamie Benn Roughing against Nikita Nikitin|
|Nikita Nikitin Roughing against Jamie Benn|