COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Now that Rick Nash is gone, the Blue Jackets are hoping to get by with a goals-by-committee approach to offense, but the committee has been slow to form.
Still, an early third-period goal by veteran Vinny Prospal allowed the Blue Jackets to earn a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars before 10,475 in Nationwide Arena.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak for Columbus, which had scored only 10 goals in its first six games.
"For us to be successful we have to grind," Prospal said. "We don't have any superstars that are going to come in and score 40-50 goals for us. We have to grind and everyone has to chip in.
"I don't think we're going to blow any teams out, but we can win these tight (ones) if we commit to playing our game, our system."
Derek Dorsett also scored for the Blue Jackets, while goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky had 24 saves.
The Stars' only goal came early in the second period on the power play, when defenseman Philip Larsen scored. Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen had 25 saves.
The Blue Jackets seized momentum midway through the second period. They didn't cash in on the power play -- Columbus went 0 for 7 -- but it allowed the Jackets to get into the game after a sloppy first period.
"This game is pretty simple," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "If you're going to take eight or nine minor (penalties) in a game, you're probably not going to win. That's what happened today.
"Do whatever you want system-wise, play as hard as you want. If you're going to take that many penalties, this is going to be the result."
Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards wasn't pleased with his club, either.
"That's the worst the power plays (have) looked since I've been here," Richards said. "I can't tell you what I was honestly thinking, no. It wasn't pretty."
Prospal took Columbus off the hook. At 1:22 of the third, he buried an odd-angle shot through a screen set by center Ryan Johansen. It didn't appear that Lehtonen ever saw the puck.
It was Prospal's second goal of the season, tied for the club lead. Nash was traded to the New York Rangers in July, leaving the Jackets with only three players -- one of them Prospal -- who have ever scored more than 20 goals in a season.
"This was a step in the right direction," Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson said. "We need to win our home games. In a short season, winning your home games is crucial. If we can do that and at least split on the road then you're in a great position at the end of the year to go for your goal."
The game ended on an ugly note.
Dallas forward Jamie Benn, making his season debut after signing a contract over the weekend, crosschecked Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin into the boards in the closing seconds. The hit could be reviewed by the NHL.
Blue Jackets defenseman Nikita Nikitin immediately rose to Tyutin's defense, hammering Benn from behind and nearly sparking a skirmish. Nikitin received a two-minute roughing penalty, while Benn was penalized two minutes for roughing and two minutes for boarding.
NOTES: Both Columbus and Dallas had to change travel plans for Tuesday games due to fog across the Midwest forced both teams to remain in Columbus Monday night after the game. The Blue Jackets expect to fly Tuesday morning to St. Paul, Minn., and Dallas will fly to Detroit. ... Benn, a restricted free agent, signed a five-year, $26.5 million contract on Saturday. However, it wasn't until Monday afternoon that the Canadian-born Benn's work permit was approved by U.S. Immigration, allowing him to play. He had one assist, two shots on goal and game-high 12 faceoff wins. ... The Blue Jackets didn't register their first shot on goal until 13:49 into the first period. ... Dallas winger Jaromir Jagr (back) was back in the lineup after missing one game. ... Blue Jackets winger Colton Gillies made his season debut. He had missed the first five games as a healthy scratch. ... The Blue Jackets placed right winger Cam Atkinson on injured reserve, retroactive to Jan. 23, due to a groin injury.