Simply put, the Blue Jackets didn’t play well enough for long enough to beat the Dallas Stars tonight.
BLUE JACKETS 2 | STARS 4
A few days after Stars coach Lindy Ruff challenged his top players following back-to-back losses to begin the season, his stars (pardon the pun) responded in a big way and led the charge in Columbus. Dallas picked up its first win of the season by defeating the Blue Jackets 4-2 at Nationwide Arena, handlng Columbus its first loss of the season.
Tyler Seguin (hat trick) and Jamie Benn (goal, three assists) were difference-makers for Dallas, staking the Stars to an early 2-0 lead and forcing the Blue Jackets to play catch-up right off the bat. The Stars’ first two goals came less than three minutes apart and if not for the play of Sergei Bobrovsky, the deficit could have been larger.
“They were hungry,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. “(Their start) put us back on our heels.”
But the Blue Jackets bounced back in the second period and got themselves back in the game.
Ryan Johansen, who had three points in three games entering tonight, scored two goals in the middle stanza to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 2-2 tie, and the crowd was a significant factor at that point in the game.
It was a 2-2 game entering the third period and the Blue Jackets had chances early in the period, but the Benn-Seguin combo made it happen again to give Dallas a lead it would not relinquish.
After a long shift in the Columbus zone, Benn found himself with a clear shooting lane at the center point, and his 50-footer was tipped in by Seguin with 7:44 to play.
Bobrovsky wasn’t able to get to the bench until well inside the final minute, and the Jackets got very little going with the extra attacker. Seguin potted an empty-netter to complete his hat trick with one second remaining.
The shift that led to Seguin’s game-winner was (obviously) a big moment in the game, but one that also allowed the Stars to capitalize after a stretch of dominant play in the Jackets’ zone. Benn, Seguin and Colton Sceviour controlled the puck and had a couple chances before Seguin cashed in with his second of the night.
1) Seguin (DAL) - his hat trick earned him top honors tonight.
2) Johansen (CBJ) - his first two goals of 2014-15 were crucial to help get the Jackets back in the game.
3) Benn (DAL) - a goal, three assists in what was a stellar performance from the Dallas captain.
vs. Calgary Flames
Friday, 7 p.m. ET