COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Vinny Prospal scored from a hard angle at 1:22 of the third and Sergei Bobrovsky had 24 saves to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets past the Dallas Stars 2-1 on Monday night, ending a four-game losing streak.
It was the Blue Jackets’ first victory since opening night in Nashville in a shootout. They had been outscored 16-6 since while mustering just a point in a shootout loss to Detroit in the home opener a week ago.
Derek Dorsett also scored for the Blue Jackets.
Philip Larsen had the Stars’ goal with Kari Lehtonen stopping 25 shots.
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.
Bobrovsky preserved the lead with a terrific stop on Michael Ryder’s one-timer from the right hash midway through the period, just before Columbus’ Adrian Aucoin hit a post with a slap shot.
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 and had missed the first five games during negotiations for a new deal and while awaiting a U.S. work permit.
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 bad back.
The second period was filled with frustration for the Blue Jackets, but ended with them getting a loud ovation as they came off the ice.
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 2 minutes of a 5 on 3 advantage.
The Stars’ defense completely shut down the power play, limiting Columbus to passes back and forth out front, but no real scoring chances.
There was a smattering of boos when Dallas killed off all the power plays.
Despite generating no offense when they had a man advantage, the Blue Jackets then tied it at even strength.
Artem Anisimov, acquired in the July trade that sent the franchise’s most recognizable player Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, carried the puck up the left wing through the neutral zone and dropped a pass to Fedor Tyutin. Tyutin sent a perfect setup to Dorsett at the left dot for a one-timer that beat Lehtonen.
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. In fact, Dallas generated more offense with one fewer man than did the Blue Jackets, outshooting them 2-1.
Columbus didn’t get its first shot on goal until 13:49 had expired. The Stars, who had one power play, outshot the Blue Jackets 9-3 in the first 20 minutes.
NOTES: Columbus was 0 for 7 on the power play, Dallas 1 for 4. … Following Tuesday’s road game at Minnesota, Columbus will play six straight games at Nationwide Arena — its longest homestand of the season. The Blue Jackets were without RW Cam Atkinson (lower body) who was placed on the injured list on Saturday night. He’s expected to miss the next week or two. … Columbus’ first two home games were played before capacity crowds while Monday’s game drew just 10,475.
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