COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jason Robertson scored 68 seconds in and added the go-ahead goal late in the second period as the streaking Dallas Stars beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Thursday night.
It was the Stars’ sixth consecutive win and seventh straight at home. They have outscored their opponents 21-7 during the winning streak, scoring within the first 75 seconds in each of the last four games.
“I think we’re ready to start the games,” Robertson said. “The past couple games, we were just confident and ready to go on the first shift.”
The 22-year-old Robertson has a five-game point streak, with four goals and four assists.
“He’s a top offensive player,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said. “He makes plays and he hangs onto pucks.”
Tyler Seguin also scored for Dallas. Joe Pavelski and Jani Hakanpaa had two assists apiece.
Jake Oettinger made 20 saves and improved to 5-0. It was just the second time this season he allowed two goals.
Emergency starter Daniil Tarasov stopped 34 shots for the Blue Jackets. Boone Jenner and Alexandre Texier had the goals for Columbus, outscored 15-5 while losing the first three games of its road trip.
In the game’s first minute, Roope Hintz, coming off a hat trick Tuesday, skated in on Tarasov but shot wide. On the Stars’ next trip into the Columbus zone, the rebound of a shot by Hakanpaa off teammate Joe Pavelski went out to Robertson in the left faceoff circle. He scored into the short side on the second NHL shot Tarasov faced.
Blue Jackets goalies Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo both came down with an illness not connected to COVID-19. The 22-year-old Tarasov didn’t arrive from Cleveland, where he was 5-2-2 with a 2.96 goals-against average for the AHL’s Monsters, until after the morning skate.
Casey Sherwood, 36, an owner of a home-remodeling company and an amateur hockey player in the Metroplex, was in goal for the morning workout. He knew Columbus coach Brad Larsen when both lived in Colorado. Merzlikins recovered enough to serve as the backup for the game.
Jenner tied it at 6:53 of the first period with his team-high 11th goal, sliding in a backhand at the end of a breakaway just ahead of the Stars’ Denis Gurianov.
Texier sent a wrist shot past Oettinger just 1:25 into the second for a 2-1 lead.
After Texier’s goal, the Stars regrouped. Dallas outshot the Blue Jackets in the period 19-6 but didn’t score until the final four minutes, when goals by Seguin and Robertson 49 seconds apart gave Dallas its 3-2 lead.
Skating in from the left of the net, Seguin took a pass from Hakanpaa.
“It was a pretty quick play,” Hakanpaa said. “I saw the jersey going to the net, so just lay it in there.”
Robertson was surprised when Pavelski pulled the puck away and put it between Columbus defenseman Sean Kuraly’s legs for a cross-ice pass.
“You think it’s 2-on-1,” Robertson said. “When I saw the replay, it’s like ‘Wow! He ditched the one guy.’”
Bowness explained how the Stars turned the game around.
“We went down to three lines, and I think that helped. I didn’t like a couple guys that weren’t going. We talked about getting our defense a lot more involved. We got three assists (by Hakanpaa and Ryan Suter).”
On the other side, Larsen said: “We got chasing a little bit there. They’re at home, they’ve been playing well. They’re going to get a response, and they came.”
Briefly, it appeared Columbus scored at the end of the second, but a video review showed that time expired before the puck crossed the goal line.
NOTES: Dallas D John Klingberg was scratched, also because of an illness not related to COVID-19. “He’ll skate with us Sunday, and he’ll be ready to go Monday,” Bowness said. ... Pavelski has nine points (three goals, six assists) in the last four games. He is the fifth NHL player with multiple points in four straight games this season. ... Hakanpaa had two points for the first time in 82 career NHL games. “It doesn’t happen too often for me, so I’ll probably walk out of the rink with a big smile tonight,” he said. His four points this season have equaled his career-best four points from 2020-21. ... Columbus has allowed opponents at least 33 shots on goal in seven straight games.
Blue Jackets: Complete a four-game trip Saturday at Washington.
Stars: Go for their eighth straight home win Monday against Arizona.