The Columbus Blue Jackets scored four goals in regulation time last night to defeat the Dallas Stars by a final score of 4-1 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. First win since December 13th at home against the Vancouver Canucks. First road win since December 6th against the Montreal Canadiens. Perhaps a full 60 minutes of execution got the job done. Whatever the case shall be, as appropriate as it was for head coach Scott Arniel to reflect on the game in a positive light for a change, losing the club’s top defensemen James Wisniewski to a fractured ankle, certainly continues the difficult trend of head shaking for the Blue Jackets.
To the ice we go. Captain Rick Nash scored his 11th goal of the season with just under five minutes into the game, assisted by forward Ryan Johansen, before Dallas notched the game at one a piece on a goal by forward Vernon Fiddler. first frame came to an end with the Dallas Stars out shooting the Blue Jackets 19-9.
The Blue Jackets hit the score sheet once in the 2nd period on a goal by forward Antoine Vermette. Vermette’s fifth goal of the season gave the Blue Jackets a commanding 2-1 lead heading into the third period. Defensemen John Moore and forward Mark Letestu with the helpers. The second period proved to be costly however, with the injury to James Wisniewski.
“We’ll check with our Docs (Today), obviously,” Arniel told reporters. ” But right now it’s not looking good.
Having to finish the evening without the services of Wisniewski, the Blue Jackets held onto a lead and grabbed a 4-1 victory. Third period goals for Rick Nash (12th) and defensemen Fedor Tyutin (3rd) finished out a successful evening for a team working diligently on trying to find answers as they head into 2012.
“After all the things that have backfired on us the last few weeks here, that was a great 20-man effort,” Scott Arniel said. “From getting an early lead, to building on that lead and playing very well in the third period, it was a good effort and a good feeling all around.”
Goaltender Steve Mason stopped 36 shots to lock down his fifth win of the 2011-12 season.
“We talked about being more positive, more upbeat,” Mason said. “The guys were able to do that tonight. I have to give a lot of credit to R.J. Umberger, he did a really good job of keeping guys up and positive during that second intermission.
The Blue Jackets will have to continue to stay upbeat and positive moving on without James Wisniewski. The club will need to reflect on this game for a brief period then prepare to build on the momentum created last night.
Next up, a challenge at home against the Washington Capitals on New Years Eve. Game time 7:00pm. A Happy, Healthy New Year to all. Talk to you in 2012.
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