Trevor Daley comes on during a change, and his shot gets through as the Stars take a three-goal lead once again about two and a half minutes after the Blue Jackets had cut it to two.
Credit Toby Petersen for collecting the turnover in the other end, and instead of going to the net, which I thought would've been the good idea, he pulls it back, waits, and gets help. Darryl Sydor's first shot got it started, and Daley's shot looked somewhat harmless when he shot it, but apparently not.
Anyway, it's 6-3 with 10:12 remaining. Petersen and Sydor on the assists.
Guess the Blue Jackets aren't done after all. Stars were playing great defense until they couldn't get a clear, and the Jackets make them pay. Jared Boll gets to the net before Matt Niskanen can get on him, and he deflects Jason Williams' pass in at the 4:34 mark.
Wow, wow, wow... I was all set to write how the Stars played that second period like a headless chicken, and I would've been justified for most of the period. It was looking pretty friggin' bad considering how they started this one out.
And then James Neal brings them back to focus. And yes, I'm giving him a TON of credit here. The Stars were scrambling big-time. They were leaking all over the place, and Mary Turco's head was on a swivel with the Jackets buzzing. Then Neal gets that goal. And right before he got that goal he nailed Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin to give Mike Modano some space to shoot. Then he gets to the net and gets a big one. Tremendous. And just like that, the Stars woke up again.
Steve Ott didn't hurt matters, either. You felt bad for the guy on that post shot, but gets a stick on Jere Lehtinen's rebound and the Stars have their three-goal lead once again.
Gotta admit, I'm stunned to be writing about the Stars getting that advantage back. And at the end of the period, they started defending like they did against the Wings on Thursday: cutting the Jackets off around the blue line, their defensemen ready to recover and shoot it back the other way.
Ah, nothing settles down a very, very jumpy team like a goal, and James Neal provides his second of the evening. Mike Modano gets it to the center of the ice and fires, and Neal is there on the rebound, again, then he goes back and pounds the glass. It's Stars 4-2, and they're on the power play with Rick Nash in the box.
The Blue Jackets get one minute of 5 on 3 when Stephane Robidas is called for a trip... they don't get one on the 5 on 3, but the Jackets' Fedor Tyutin gets one through Marty Turco just as it elapses. Either way, it's now 3-2 Stars and the second period has just begun.
Stars need to stay out of the box and start attacking again.
Stars were pushing hard the first 10-plus minutes of this one, which is why they're up 3-1. But Brian Sutherby's shot was their eighth of the period at the 10:43 mark, and they only had two more in the final 9:17. Yes, maybe I'm overanalyzing here, but the Blue Jackets started pushing back the second half of the period, and they'll come back with 1:32 remaining on the Steve Ott penalty.
But those first 10-plus minutes, some fantastic stuff. Marty Turco's been darned good, especially on that last stop of the period. Still, the Stars have to be careful on those cross-ice passes. A few have gotten through, and just missed their intended Jackets targets.
Christian Huselius makes a nice little move to his backhand to keep the puck away from Stephane Robidas, then lifts it up and over Marty Turco to get the Blue Jackets on the board at the 17:32 mark of the first period. Assists from Jan Hejda and Marc Methot.