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Dallas at Columbus

Stars pepper Blue Jackets with seven goals to win fourth straight

CBSSports.com wire reports
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Dallas Stars rolled to a quick 3-0 lead. Yet coach Dave Tippett was more impressed with what happened after that.

James Neal scored two goals and Dallas rolled to an early advantage, weathered a Columbus comeback, and then pulled away again Saturday night for a 7-3 win, the Stars' fourth victory in a row.

"The way the game went there, we're up 3-0 and we probably don't deserve to be up 3-0," Tippett said.

After the Blue Jackets cut it 3-2 early in the second period, the Stars took control again.

"Once (Neal) scored (for the second time), we pushed it the other way," Tippett said. "I thought that dictated the game, the second 10 minutes of the second period."

The game pitted two of the teams wrestling for playoff position in the Western Conference. The Stars pulled even with the Blue Jackets with 53 points.

Loui Eriksson added a goal and an assist, and Brian Sutherby, Steve Ott, Trevor Daley and Andrew Hutchinson also scored for the Stars, 25-4-4 overall against Columbus. Mike Modano added two assists, and Neal also had an assist. Marty Turco stopped 35 shots.

"A complete defensive breakdown -- there's no surprise or secret out there," Columbus defenseman Mark Methot said. "It was embarrassing."

After a dreadful start, the Stars are playing like the team that made it to the Western Conference finals a year ago. They've picked up points in eight of their last nine games.

Neal gave all the credit to Turco.

"Turcs comes up with save after save. That's what you need if you're going to win," Neal said. "He's putting some real solid games together. We're responding and playing good hockey. It's a good feeling around here. It's fun and guys are playing well."

Ott compared Turco to a wall.

"You've got a 4-by-8 piece of plywood back there," Ott said, smiling.

But Turco said it was more than that, a bonding that has transformed a forlorn team into a contender.

"The way the team's banded together to play a certain way is most important," Turco said. "We're going to need to continue to do this. Even tonight when they started scoring you didn't see too much panic in our game."

Kristian Huselius had a goal and an assist, and Fedor Tyutin and Jared Boll also scored for the Blue Jackets, who disappointed a near-capacity crowd with just their third loss in the last 13 home games.

Columbus goalie Steve Mason, leading the NHL in goals-against average (1.98) and shutouts (7), started his 18th straight game for the Blue Jackets. He didn't last long, however.

The rookie was victimized for three goals in the opening 10:43 and was replaced by Wade Dubielewicz, who surrendered four goals on 23 shots in his first action for the Blue Jackets.

"I thought our goaltending wasn't very good tonight, but they aren't the total blame," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We got beat to way too many pucks in our own zone. We were really soft."

Goals by Neal, Eriksson and Sutherby made it 3-0. After the Blue Jackets pulled to 3-2, Neal had another big goal to give the Stars some breathing room.

"We were opportunistic and they pushed back," Tippett said. "Neal's goal to get it to 4-2 was a huge goal. Any time after that they had any little push we were able to bump it and get one back on the board and push the game along."

Notes

  • Hitchcock, who guided Dallas to a Stanley Cup in 1999, coached in his 951st game.
  • A full 2 1/2 hours before game time, 200 or so fans were lined up outside the arena to buy available tickets.
  • Scouts from Atlanta, Montreal, Colorado, Anaheim, Florida, the New York Islanders, Pittsburgh and Minnesota were at the game.
  • Dallas D Darryl Sydor, a former Blue Jacket, was hit on the ankle by a shot midway through the third period and limped to the dressing room. He did not return.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Steve Ott (29) has scored a goal for the Stars in three successive games. (AP)
Steve Ott (29) has scored a goal for the Stars in three successive games. (AP)
Related Links
 
Scoreboard
Dallas  (23-18-7) «3227
Columbus (24-21-5)1113
Three Stars
J. Neal
DAL


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
D. Sydor
DAL


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
M. Modano
DAL


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2

Related Video

Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:58James Neal (14), Slap Shot. Assist: Niskanen, Modano
08:22Loui Eriksson (24), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
10:43Brian Sutherby (4), Wrap Shot. Assist: Eriksson, Richards
17:32Kristian Huselius (14), Backhand Shot. Assist: Hejda, Methot
2ND PERIOD
01:38Power Play - Fedor Tyutin (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Huselius, Nash
13:29James Neal (15), Wrist Shot. Assist: Modano, Conner
18:58Steve Ott (8), Tip-In. Assist: Lehtinen, Ribeiro
3RD PERIOD
04:34Jared Boll (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Williams, Modin
07:10Trevor Daley (6), Slap Shot. Assist: Petersen, Sydor
18:02Andrew Hutchinson (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Grossman, Neal
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
07:51Robidas, 2 min, Holding
07:55Huselius, 2 min, Hooking
14:52Modano, 2 min, Slashing
19:32Ott, 2 min, Tripping
19:32Ott, 2 min, Roughing
19:32Methot, 2 min, Roughing
2ND PERIOD
33.0Robidas, 2 min, Tripping
04:10Chimera, 2 min, Tripping
13:46Nash, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Dallas1012931
Columbus11141338
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Marty Turco60:00353
Wade Dubielewicz49:12194
Steve Mason10:4353
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Dallas0-for-3
Columbus1-for-4
Game Information
Attendance - 18049
Referees - Wes McCauley, Kelly Sutherland
Linesmen - David Brisebois, Scott Driscoll
 
Other Games
Phi 0 Final
StL 4
Min 4 Final
OT
Van 3
Pitt 4 Final
Tor 5
Det 2 Final
Wash 4
NYR 0 Final
Bos 1
Chi 4 Final
SJ 2
Fla 1 Final
NYI 3
Buf 2 Final
Pho 0
Atl 0 Final
Car 2
LA 3 Final
Mon 4
Ana 4 Final
Colo 3