NHL Game Summary - Dallas at Columbus
(Thursday, February 4th)
Final Score: Columbus 2, Dallas 1
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - R.J. Umberger registered a goal and an assist, as the Columbus Blue Jackets got by the Dallas Stars, 2-1, at Nationwide Arena, in Claude Noel's head coaching debut.
Anton Stralman also tallied for Columbus, which fired head coach Ken Hitchcock on Wednesday. Hitchcock guided the Blue Jackets to a mark of 41-31-10 last season and finished seventh in the Western Conference, granting Columbus its first playoff spot since coming into the league in the 2000-01 season. However, the club was only 22-27-9 entering the game.
"It was rewarding to get the win," Noel said. "I thought our players were passionate about trying to help each other. Even when we had turnovers that created problems, they were really good."
Steve Mason turned aside 22-of-23 shots for Columbus, which suffered a 5-1 loss at Colorado on Tuesday. The Blue Jackets have split their last eight games overall. Forward Derek Dorsett missed the contest for Columbus with a lower body injury.
Brad Richards scored for Dallas, which had won three of four coming into the contest. Marty Turco made 24 saves in defeat.
The Stars were without center Mike Modano (upper body injury) and defenseman Mike Commodore (charley horse).
In the third period with the Blue Jackets in front 1-0, Dallas got a pair of power play chances, but were unable to get the equalizer. Then with the goaltender pulled in favor of the extra attacker, Umberger scored into an empty net while sliding on his stomach to put Columbus up by two with 1:08 left.
The goal proved to be huge as Richards' shot through a maze of players beat Mason with 47 seconds to play. The goal was briefly reviewed as it appeared Steve Ott put it in with a chopping motion from in close, but it was upheld and the goal was later credited to Richards. Dallas was unable to even things in the remaining time on the clock.
Columbus got the scoring started with five minutes left in the opening period. Stralman took a feed from Fredrik Modin and fired a shot from the right point that made its way through traffic and past Turco.
Columbus won the shots on goal battle 12-6 in the middle stanza, but neither team was able to light the lamp and the Blue Jackets maintained the slim 1-0 lead at the intermission.
The Blue Jackets have taken three of four from Dallas this season and improved to 13-9-5 as the hosts...The Stars dropped to 8-15-6 as the guest this year and have lost 12 of their last 13 road games.
02/04 22:55:06 ET