Just when it looked like the Dallas Stars were going to pull two points out of a game in Columbus Tuesday night, the Blue Jackets scored two goals and sent the Stars packing with just one. Sam Gagner scored on a power play to tie the game with 15.1 seconds remaining in regulation and then Seth Jones scored 46 seconds into overtime as Columbus defeated the Stars, 3-2, at Nationwide Arena.
The loss was a tough one for the Stars, who played well and executed their game plan for most of the night. They outshot the Blue Jackets 38-28 and had a 73-55 advantage in attempted shots.
"You want to get two when you lead with 20 seconds left. We are frustrated with the loss," said Stars center Jason Spezza. "That was a pretty good game on our part. We controlled the play all night. It was frustrating to lose that game."
With the Stars leading, 2-1, the Blue Jackets, who had already pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker, went on a power play with 59.9 seconds remaining when Dallas defenseman Johnny Oduya was called for slashing.
With time winding down in the game, Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson skated into the Dallas zone down the right wing and dropped the puck back to a wide-open Gagner, who scored off a blast from the top of the right circle.
"We played a heck of a game until the last minute," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "Took a tough penalty and I thought we overplayed that kill a little bit. It's a disappointing loss."
"We played the game we needed to play," said Stars captain Jamie Benn. "Just stupid mistakes at the end by myself and you lose a hockey game."
In overtime, Jones scored from the slot with Alexander Wennberg setting a screen in front of Stars goaltender Antti Niemi.
"Wennberg had a great screen in front," Jones said. "I couldn't even see the goalies eyes, so obviously he didn't see it."
The loss was the third straight for the Stars and the fifth in their past six games. They are now 3-4-2 on the season.
"It feels like it is impossible to win right now, but that is where we are at," said Spezza. "We have to stick with it and trust what we are doing. We did some better things tonight."
The Blue Jackets got a 36-save effort from goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and improved to 4-3-1 on the season.
"We stuck to our game, and it worked itself out," said Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski. "[The end] was awesome. The fans got into it when we tied it up, and then Jonesy scored in overtime. That was cool."
The two teams played a scoreless first period, but the Stars dominated play, outshooting the Blue Jackets 18-9.
Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno opened the scoring, roofing a shot over Niemi at 3:50 of the second period to give Columbus a 1-0 lead. The Stars answered midway through the second when Spezza busted into the Columbus zone down the right side and fired a shot over Bobrovsky's shoulder just one second after a Dallas power play had expired.
The Stars grabbed the lead early in the third period when Tyler Seguin grabbed a bouncing puck and put a shot on goal from close range that slipped through Bobrovsky on the short side at the 1:13 mark.
The Stars held that 2-1 lead until the final seconds of the third when Gagner scored to send the game to overtime, where Jones would win it for Columbus.
"We did a lot of good things," Ruff said. "It's a tough one to swallow. Up until that last minute, we played the type of game that we are going to win most nights."
*The Stars have scored six goals over their past five games.
*Jason Spezza led the Stars with 8 shot attempts. Tyler Seguin was next with 7.
*Spezza, Seguin, Radek Faksa and Dan Hamhuis all had 4 shots on goal.
*The Stars were 0-4 on the power play and 1-2 on the penalty kill.
*The Stars have allowed a power-play goal in seven of nine games this season.
*The Stars won 28 of 62 faceoffs (45 percent).
*Jamie Benn won 7 of 8 faceoffs (88 percent). Radek Faksa won 7 of 16 (44 percent). Adam Cracknell won 4 of 10 (40 percent). Tyler Seguin won 5 of 13 (38 percent). Devin Shore won 3 of 10 (30 percent).
*Brett Ritchie led the Stars with 5 hits and Esa Lindell was tops with 4 blocked shots.
*John Klingberg led the Stars with 24:05 of ice time.
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Patrick Eaves
Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Jason Spezza
Lauri Korpikoski - Devin Shore - Jiri Hudler
Gemel Smith - Adam Cracknell - Brett Ritchie
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya - Stephen Johns
Dan Hamhuis - Jordie Benn
Scratched: Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak, Curtis McKenzie
Injured: Patrik Sharp (concussion-like symptoms), Cody Eakin (knee), Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip)
Watch: Postgame Quotes
Jason Spezza: "We're frustrated with the loss, but that was a pretty good game on our part."
Lindy Ruff: "It's a tough one to swallow because til that last minute we had played the type of game that we're gonna win most nights."
This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. 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 @StarsInsideEdge.