Bjorkstrand's quick strikes lead Blue Jackets over Stars 2-1
By SCHUYLER DIXON
DALLAS (AP) Oliver Bjorkstrand and the Columbus Blue Jackets were headed in the opposite direction of the Dallas Stars even though the teams had identical records going into the halfway point of the season.
The third-year forward reversed things in a hurry.
Bjorkstrand scored twice 78 seconds apart early in the third period and the Blue Jackets stopped a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Stars on Tuesday night.
The Blue Jackets ended Dallas' four-game home winning streak in the 41st game for both teams.
"Once you start losing a few games you want to come back and win a game," Bjorkstrand said. "I feel like we were ready to play today and played the right way and we got the win."
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 21 shots for his 200th career victory.
On the tying goal, Bjorkstrand won a puck battle with Stephen Johns at the blue line and skated in on Ben Bishop, beating the Dallas goalie and ending his five-period scoreless streak. Bishop had 24 saves.
A little more than a minute later, Bjorkstrand skated up the same side and beat Bishop inside the post. Seth Jones, the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones playing against his hometown team, assisted on the go-ahead goal.
It was almost a replay of the most recent home loss for the Stars, when they went up 3-2 on Washington late in the third only to give up the tying goal less than a minute later and lose in overtime.
"I didn't think we played great, but we had a 1-0 lead in the third period," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "This is disappointing. Some days are perfect, and some days aren't. To have a 1-0 lead in your own building and give up the two goals in your own building is disappointing."
The Stars went ahead when Tyler Seguin got his stick caught up with Boone Jenner but managed to get the puck across the ice to Klingberg. The defenseman's wrist shot was tipped by Shore and trickled past Bobrovsky.
There was only one penalty in the game, a hooking call against Dallas captain Jamie Benn. But the best scoring chance on it was short-handed for the Stars when Dan Hamhuis had a shot stopped in transition.
Hamhuis had another great chance from much closer stopped by the pad of Bobrovsky, whose sprawling right skate knocked the net loose just as he covered the puck.
"I feel like we knew we were playing good before," said Lukas Sedlak, who had two assists. "We got scored on (against Tampa) and then we kind of fell off. Today I felt we came right back and we scored a goal and then we scored another. The emotion was there today I think."
NOTES: Stars C Remi Elie was sidelined by the flu. ... Stars D Marc Methot could be close to a return after missing 26 games with a knee injury. Hitchcock said Methot would go through a full practice Wednesday and might play Thursday. ... Blue Jackets C Artemi Panarin tied the club record for points and assists in a month, getting 18 and 13 in December. ... The Stars were in a scoreless game in the third period for the first time since a 2-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Dec. 15, 2016.
Blue Jackets: At the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.
Stars: Host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday in fourth game of a six-game homestand, part of a stretch with nine of 10 at home.
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Updated January 3, 2018