Stars-Blue Jackets: Dallas Stumbles in Home Opener

Ken ArmerSenior Writer IOctober 10, 2008

Most people view being close as still an overall failure, but for the Stars in Dallas, Friday night was a good kind of close.

That experience saw the Stars walk away from their home opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets with a point they didn’t play like they deserved.

The Stars clearly walked away from the game knowing the monkey on their back throughout the preseason is still there, and is more than happy to continue kicking and screaming. Bottom line, the team was inconsistent—and it cost them a game in which they should have performed much better.

The Jackets began the scoring adventure at 15:53 of the first period on a goal from Jakub Voracek, with an assist from Jason Chimera. The Stars appeared flat most of the period, and it seemed Columbus had the leg up on Dallas. In the pregame chatter, the Stars radio personalities discussed the similarities of this season to the 1999 Stanley Cup run by Dallas.

But a 1-0 deficit to begin the season didn’t make this Stars fan all warm and cuddly. Keeping with the not-so-cuddly feelings of the first period, Sean Avery took a two-minute slashing call, living up to his agitator image for the Stars. The Stars' Krystopher Barch and the Jackets' Jared Boll tossed the mitts at 16:19, which turned into a very entertaining fight.

The second period saw the Stars not only find their legs, but finally look like the dominant team most fans expected. Brenden Morrow drew first blood of the season for the Stars at 5:21 on the power play, with assists from Mike Ribeiro and Stéphane Robidas.

The Stars' new life in the second period was capitalized on by rookie James Neal, scoring on a tip-in at 8:04 with an assist from Stéphane Robidas. The second period saw a total of eight penalties, with only three of those on the Stars. Columbus saw Michael Peca receive a game misconduct adding to the on-ice drama.

In the third period, the scoring opened up like flood gates. The Jackets' Kristian Huselius scored at 2:30 on a wrist shot with an assist from former Flyer R.J. Umberger. Andrew Murray gave the Jackets a 3-2 lead at 6:21 with an assist from Jiri Novotny and Fredrik Modin. Columbus increased its lead to two with a wrist-shot goal from Derick Brassard with an assist from Jakub Voracek at 7:17.

The Stars refused to lie down and die. Brad Richards scored at 16:42 with assists from Stéphane Robidas and Joel Lundqvist. At 17:15, the Stars tied the game when Trevor Daley blasted a shot past Pascal Leclaire. Assists on the goal came from Mike Ribeiro and Mike Modano.

The overtime ended in the Blue Jackets' favor when sniper Rick Nash netted a wrist shot past Marty Turco at 4:39. Dallas out-shot Columbus 31-27, but the Jackets seemed to want the win more in overtime.

The Stars board the charter jet immediately bound for Nashville to face the Predators on Saturday night. The game will be at 7pm central and be featured on FSN.

Complete game boxscore: Courtesy of