Once again, close but no cigar.
It was a fortunate goal that gave the Dallas Stars an unfortunate fate Monday night. Columbus Blue Jackets forward Vaclav Prospal stood behind the Stars’ red line and threw the puck at the net. It bounced off of the outside of Kari Lehtonen’s left skate and up into the goal to give Columbus the lead and, eventually, the win.
In his season debut, Jamie Benn assisted on a Stars’ power play goal that gave them a 1-0 early in the second period, but it wasn’t enough as the Stars lost their third game in a row. The Stars have now lost four games by one goal.
The Stars were again outshot (27-25), but Lehtonen made several key saves throughout the game to keep it close. They had a strong night on special teams going 1-for-4 on the power play and killing all seven of their penalties, including a full two-minute 5-on-3 in the second period.
The Stars played a strong first period. They outshot the Blue Jackets 9-3 and maintained a strong defense, but after 3 penalties in the second period, their energy and effectiveness seemed to wane.
Defenseman Philip Larsen opened the scoring 4:13 into the first period when Benn entered the offensive zone and drew the attention of all four Columbus penalty killers. He then passed the puck back to Alex Goligoski who passed the puck to his right along the blue line. Brenden Morrow jostled for position in front of the net and screened goalie Sergei Bobrovsky as Larsen Fired the puck into the top left corner.
Columbus tied the game late in the second period when Arten Anisimov sped into the Stars zone and left the puck behind for Fedor Tyutin. They drew the attention of both Stars defenseman, and Tyutin passed the puck to his left a wide open Derek Dorsett for a one-timer.
The Stars have a quick turnaround as the play in Detroit against the Red Wings Tuesday night.