Despite flawless penalty killing and scoring the game’s opening goal, the Dallas Stars couldn’t hold up to a resilient and persistent Columbus Blue Jackets team, falling 2-1 in Monday night’s game.
The much anticipated first game for one of the Stars’ top goal scorers and fan-favorite Jamie Benn was significantly less dramatic than many believed it would be. Benn snagged his first point of the season, and his only point of the night, on an assist to Phillip Larsen; Dallas’ only goal-scorer of the evening.
Jaromir Jagr, who sat out Saturday’s game against the Blues because of an injury, returned to the ice but was held to a single shot on goal.
Monday’s shining star, and really the shining star of the entire start to the short season, was goalie Kari Lehtonen, whose breathtaking behind-the-back-glove-save reinforced his, simply put, ridiculous talent. Lehtonen had a slower game than his previous outings, facing only 27 shots instead of what has almost become the usual 40 plus.
Defense continues to be a detriment to this young team, especially in regard to blue-line turnovers and an inability to control traffic in the crease. Yet the same defense found renewed intensity when short-handed. Despite spending 16 minutes on the penalty kill, the Stars did deny the Blue Jackets a single power play goal, even when faced with a two-minute 5-on-3 followed immediately by a 5-on-4.
Monday’s game marks the sixth consecutive match for the Stars decided by a single point.
Next on the schedule for the Stars is another game at the Joe. Catch the Stars vs. the Red Wings tomorrow night at 6:30.