Stars 2, Blue Jackets 1

The Dallas Stars are the best in the NHL at winning one-goal


This time they had a little help.

Brad Richards scored twice and the Stars benefited from a

controversial call to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on

Saturday night.

With the score tied 1-1 with 5 minutes left in the second

period, Columbus’ Derek Dorsett beat Loui Eriksson to a loose puck

and drilled a shot into an almost empty net. But the goal was

immediately disallowed by referee Chris Rooney, who waved it off

because of goaltender interference involving the Blue Jackets’

Ethan Moreau.

NHL Rule 69.3 permits a goal to be erased even if a penalty is

not called – and Moreau wasn’t sent to the box.

”They said it was goaltender contact – they said – in the

crease,” Columbus coach Scott Arniel said. ”We looked at it and

we feel Ethan was outside the blue paint. The goalie came out to

challenge and ran into him and proceeded to throw his arms in the

air. Ethan’s feet were planted. There’s not much you can do; you’re

not going to change a referee’s mind.”

Subsequent replays appeared to show minor, incidental contact

between Moreau and goalie Kari Lehtonen.

Needless to say, Stars coach Marc Crawford agreed with the call

that helped his team improve to 13-2-3 in one-goal games.

”I thought it was probably a penalty, more than just a guy in

the crease,” he said. ”They have to make that call in a

split-second. And that’s the way it went.”

Dorsett, of course, saw it differently.

”It was obviously a goal after seeing the replay,” he said.

”That is a key point in the game. (Moreau) and (captain Rick) Nash

talked to the referee and they said Moreau touched or bumped into

the goalie. You can clearly see on the replay that he didn’t.”

A crowd of 13,973 booed the officials the rest of the night.

Richards netted the winner at 6:17 of the third period on a

hard, low wrist shot from the top of the left circle that eluded

goalie Mathieu Garon while the teams were each a man down.

He was flying down the left wing on a 2-on-1 break with Eriksson

at the time.

”I had some good speed,” Richards said. ”I think he (Garon)

was cheating a little bit to Loui. I think he thought I was going

to pass. I saw that and just because I had speed I shot it.”

Fedor Tyutin scored for the Blue Jackets, who have lost four in

a row and 10 of 12.

The Stars have earned points in 11 of 13 games (9-2-2).

Richards hadn’t played well on the road, totaling just 12 of his

team-leading 35 points away from home. But he made up for it by

burying two low, hard shots.

The game was marked by a lot of chippy play.

After the Blue Jackets registered the first nine shots, the

Stars, 15-2 when scoring first, broke through just after the first

penalty ended in a 5-on-3 power play. Richards stepped into a

wrister from the high slot, scoring his 13th goal at 13:13.

Later in the period, Moreau’s low drive from the left point was

blocked by Lehtonen. The puck wafted high over his head and landed

behind him in the crease. Tyutin, crashing the net, jammed it in

for his first of the season.

Lehtonen, who stopped 35 shots, made several big stops. He

denied Mike Commodore with a toe save early in the second period.

With just under 2 minutes left, Jake Voracek batted at a high puck

that Lehtonen deflected.

The Stars’ goalie credited special teams for stopping the Blue

Jackets on five power plays.

”I was really comfortable with our penalty kill,” he said.

”It’s been working well lately. When the other team gets the power

play, you’re not worried. You feel like your guys can help


NOTES: Stephane Robidas had an assist on Richards’ first goal to

extend his assist streak to three games. … Columbus outshot

Dallas 36-23. … Dallas has killed off 42 of the last 47 power

plays. … Espen Knutsen, the Blue Jackets’ first All-Star game

participant in 2002, dropped the ceremonial first puck as part of

the club’s 10-year anniversary celebration.