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Stars blow four leads in Columbus before winning in OT

The SportsXchange

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Dallas couldn't hold four one-goal leads against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. Thankfully for the Stars, their fifth one-goal lead ended it.

Loui Eriksson's sprawling goal off a rebound with 1:57 remaining in overtime gave the Stars a 5-4 win before 11,523 in Nationwide Arena.

Eriksson dived in front of Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky after Bobrovsky stopped Derek Roy's shot.

Brenden Morrow, Derek Roy, Antoine Roussel and Cody Eakin also scored for the Stars, who have a three-game point streak. Goaltender Richard Bachman finished with 16 saves for his second win of the season.

"That was a back-and-forth game, like a ping-pong game," Roussel said. "It wasn't pretty at times. We didn't play great at times. But Loui's goal is a big goal for us. You need to win games like this sometime."

The Stars made news earlier in the day when they traded winger Michael Ryder and a third-round pick in this summer's NHL draft to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for winger Erik Cole.

Cole is expected to debut with the Stars (10-8-2) on Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers in Dallas.

Nikita Nikitin, Derek Dorsett, Cam Atkinson and R.J. Umberger scored for the Blue Jackets. Columbus (5-12-3) is 2-7-3 since Jan. 28.

Columbus, already without centers Artem Anisimov (concussion) and Brandon Dubinsky (knee), lost center Derick Brassard to an upper-body injury early in the second period. He did not return.

The Blue Jackets are also without their top two defensemen, Jack Johnson (right shoulder) and James Wisniewski (broken foot).

"You look around the league, and lots of teams have injuries," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "I can't imagine too many teams have been hit any harder than we have.

"It's not just the number of guys we're missing, but the kind of guys we're missing. These are some of our more important players."

Bobrovsky made 34 saves for the Blue Jackets, but it's the save he didn't make that will haunt him.

With 6:24 to play in the third period, Eakin took an innocent-looking wrister from atop the right circle as the Stars rushed down the ice. Bobrovsky looked befuddled, and the puck caught only part of his glove before falling between his pads and slowly crossing the goal line.

That put the Stars up 4-3, their fourth lead of the night. But they couldn't hold this one, either.

With 94 seconds to play in regulation, Umberger found open ice in the slot, took a centering feed from Nick Foligno and beat Bachman with a shot just under the crossbar, making it 4-4 and forcing overtime.

"It seems like we've been doing this all year, chasing it from behind," Dorsett said. "We're burning a lot of energy, pouring it on and pouring it on. We needed to jump on these guys early -- they played last night -- and we didn't do that. So then we're chasing it again."

The Stars had been 1-15-2 in the second game of their previous 18 back-to-backs, dating to January 2012.

"I'm sure you'll keep bringing that up," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "It wasn't easy. That is a hard-working team, the Blue Jackets. They kept coming. It was good to win."

NOTES: Wisniewski is out indefinitely with a broken foot, suffered Sunday in Chicago. He told The Columbus Dispatch he didn't think it would be a season-ending injury, but that he hadn't been given a timetable by the Blue Jackets' medical staff. ... The Stars hoped goaltender Kari Lehtonen (groin) would have been ready to return vs. Columbus, but he remains day-to-day. ... The Blue Jackets have yet to win a game this season in which they've allowed more than two goals. ... Columbus travels to Chicago to play the Blackhawks on Friday. Dallas plays a third game in four nights when it plays host to Edmonton on Thursday.

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