Jamie Benn made his season debut for the Dallas Stars and picked up an assist, but it wasn’t enough as the Stars fell, 2-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets Monday night at Nationwide Arena. The loss extended the Stars winless streak to three games (0-2-1). Philip Larsen scored the lone goal for the Stars, who fell to 2-3-1 on the season. Kari Lehtonen stopped 25 of 27 shots. Derek Dorsett and Vinny Prospal scored goals and Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves for Columbus, which snapped a four-game winless streak.
The Stars were shorthanded seven times in the game, six of them when the game was actually still being contested. They didn’t give up a power play goal, but three of those penalties came in a 42 second span of the second period, giving Columbus extended power play time and letting the Blue Jackets seize momentum in the game and rally from a 1-0 deficit. The Stars have been shorthanded 29 times this season and on the power play 20 times, for a minus-9 differential in power play opportunities to shorthanded situations.
Jamie Benn debut
Jamie Benn had one assist, two shots on goal, four penalty minutes and won 12 of 22 faceoffs in his first game of the season. He played 20:47 and centered a line with Loui Erikson and Jaromir Jagr.
There was no scoring in the first period, during which the Stars held a 9-3 shots advantage. The Blue Jackets didn’t get their first shot on goal in the game until just over six minutes left in the period.
The Blue Jackets had three power plays in the period, with the last one carrying over into the second, and they were able to muster only one shot. The Stars, on the other hand, had some good shorthanded chances. The best one came on Columbus’ second power play when Cody Eakin stole the puck from Jack Johnson and set up Loui Eriksson, who shot wide from the slot.
Kari Lehtonen came up big early in the period and throughout for the Stars, who were outshot 17-5 primarily due to penalty woes.
Lehtonen made a great save on Jack Johnson with Columbus on the power play early in the second, reaching behind him to grab a puck just before it crossed the goal line to keep it a scoreless game.
The Stars went on their second power play a couple minutes later and cashed in to take a 1-0 lead. Philip Larsen beat Sergei Bobrovsky with a shot from the right point at the 4:13 mark.
But the Stars got into some big penalty trouble four minutes later. Vernon Fiddler was called for hooking and high sticking on the same play, giving Columbus a 4:00 power play. Just 42 seconds later, Tom Wandell was given a minor for closing his hand on the puck, giving Columbus a full 2:00 of five-on-three power play time. The Stars were able to get through all of that thanks to nine saves by Lehtonen and a key blocked shot by Stephane Robidas.
But the Blue Jackets drew even with an even-strength goal with 2:13 left in the period as Derek Dorsett scored on an odd-man rush.
The Blue Jackets took the lead for good when Vinny Prospal scored from just below the goal line 1:22 into the third period.
The Stars had their best chance to tie when Ray Whitney set up Michael Ryder in the slot, but Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky denied Ryder’s bid with 11:44 remaining.
The Stars had a power play chance midway through the period, but couldn’t take advantage and ended up 1-4 on the power play in the game.
The Stars play at Detroit Tuesday night. The Red Wings (2-2-1) are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss in Chicago on Sunday.
Injured: Roy (groin), Rome (flu)
Scratches: Smith, Sceviour