The Dallas Stars were in a good spot Tuesday night, holding a 1-0 lead in the third period over the Columbus Blue Jackets at American Airlines Center. But they couldn't hold the lead and saw their four-game home winning streak come to an end with a 2-1 loss.
"We didn't play great, but we had a 1-0 lead in the third period. This is where you want to be," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "To give up the two goals is disappointing."
[WATCH: All Stars vs. Blue Jackets highlights]
After two scoreless periods, Devin Shore spotted the Stars to a 1-0 lead 44 seconds into the third, but the Blue Jackets had the lead less than six minutes later when forward Oliver Bjorkstrand scored two goals -- both on the rush -- in a span of 78 seconds.
"That was a frustrating one, for sure," said Shore. "We didn't have it all night. They responded well after we scored and that's on us. We didn't continue and keep the pressure going, and they made us pay for it."
"We lost a tough game, a 2-1 game. It sucks," said Stars defenseman Stephen Johns. "It sucks losing."
The Stars (22-16-3) lost for just the fifth time in regulation at home (14-5-1) and fell to 2-1-0 on their current homestand.
Video: CBJ@DAL: Shore deflects opening goal past Bobrovsky
The Blue Jackets (23-15-3) got 21-saves from goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and won for just the third time in their last nine games (3-4-2).
"It was good. I thought it went well, the finish was good, and I thought we got off to a good start," said Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson. "There were a couple of times in there where they had the momentum, which is normal. They're in the NHL too; they're a good team. It was nice to win a tight game like that and shut it down at the end."
After two periods with no scoring, the goals started to come in the third. John Klingberg put a shot on net from the right circle and Shore deflected it past Bobrovsky 44 seconds into the period to put the Stars up 1-0.
But Bjorkstrand answered with two goals in a 1:18 span to put the Blue Jackets ahead 2-1. After Johns had trouble handling an airborne puck at the Dallas blueline, Bjorkstrand grabbed it and scored on a wrist shot from the right circle to tie the game 1-1 at the 4:54 mark.
"We had the momentum in the third, and I've got to catch that puck," Johns said. "That's what it comes down to. They take that and take momentum."
Bjorkstrand struck again at 6:12 of the third, coming down the right wing on the rush and tallying off well-placed shot on Stars goalie Ben Bishop to give Columbus a 2-1 edge.
Video: CBJ@DAL: Bishop stops Anderson as period winds down
"We got the lead there, and I've got to find a way to make a stop," said Bishop. "They scored two goals, and we lose the game. I've got to find a way to make a save there and get a point for our team."
When told of Bishop and Johns saying they needed to make plays in the third, Hitchcock wasn't interested.
"Yeah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You've got to hammer it down," Hitchcock said. "We didn't have everybody going, but we still had a 1-0 lead in the third period and didn't get it done."
The Stars pulled Bishop late in the game for an extra attacker but couldn't get the equalizer and the Blue Jackets skated away with the two points.
"It's one of 82, so we have to move on, but we also have to learn from it," said Shore.
"We'll look in the mirror on a few things, but we've got to turn it around quick so we can't dwell on it."
Video: Stars can't hold off Columbus
Notes: Methot, Hanzal close to returning
Defenseman Marc Methot, who has been out since Nov. 6 with a knee injury, and center Martin Hanzal, who has missed three games with a lower-body injury, are close to returning to the lineup. Coach Ken Hitchcock said both Methot and Hanzal would go through a full practice Wednesday and one or both could play on Thursday vs. New Jersey.
Forward Remi Elie missed Tuesday's game due to illness.
The Blue Jackets outshot the Stars 26-22 and had a 50-43 advantage in shot attempts.
Tyler Seguin and Julius Honka led the Stars with five shot attempts each.
The Stars were 1-1 on the penalty kill and 0-0 on the power play. It was the second time this season the Stars have not had a power play in a game.
The Stars won 34 of 64 faceoffs. Radek Faksa won 13 of 24 (54 percent). Tyler Seguin won 7 of 11 (64 percent). Jason Spezza won 4 of 12 (33 percent).
John Klingberg led the Stars with 23:30 of ice time. Seguin was tops among forwards with 20:27.
Video: Bishop on loss to Blue Jackets
The Stars continue their homestand when they take on the New Jersey Devils on Thursday at American Airlines Center. This will be the second and final meeting between the Stars and Devils this season. The Devils defeated the Stars, 5-2, in New Jersey on Dec. 15.
Video: Stars must move on from home loss
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Devin Shore
Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Alexander Radulov
Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick
Gemel Smith - Jason Dickinson - Brett Ritchie
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn
Stephen Johns - Julius Honka
Injured: Marc Methot (knee), Martin Hanzal (lower body), Remi Elie (illness)
Video: DAL Recap: Shore scores lone goal in loss to Jackets
Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter at @StarsInsideEdge.