COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—It’s taken 37 games for the Dallas Stars to top the .500 mark. Now they’re shooting a lot higher.
“We’ve had a lot of pressure on us,” Morrow said after the Stars improved to 17-16-4-0. “We’ve not met expectations. But now we’re getting some effort back. We weren’t getting any breaks, but now we are.”
Modano, who scored eight seconds into the game, and Morrow each have at least one point in those last four wins. Morrow has goals in the last four.
Defensemen Richard Matvichuk and Teppo Numminen also had goals for the Stars, who won despite not having a shot on goal in the third period. Columbus had just four, setting a franchise record for fewest shots by both teams in a period.
The Stars—and goaltender Marty Turco—had their streak of allowing one goal or less stopped at seven games, one off the team record.
“The type of streak he’s on is tough to keep up,” Modano said of Turco. “He’s done more than enough to help us win some games. It’s time we did something for him.”
After the opening puck was dropped, the Stars made three routine passes before Modano netted his eighth goal of the season. The goal was the second-fastest in Dallas history, a second off the record set five years ago by Joe Nieuwendyk—and tied for the ninth-fastest ever in the NHL. It was also the quickest goal ever surrendered by the Blue Jackets.
Modano’s shot came from just inside the blue line on the left wing and clanked in off the far post, beating Blue Jackets goaltender Fred Brathwaite on the glove side.
“It was a bit of a knuckler,” Modano said. “I don’t know if it moved a little. I caught it on the edge and I caught a pretty good piece of it.”
Morrow then redirected Philippe Boucher’s slap shot for his ninth on the power play. The Stars were 1-for-3 on the power play after coming in ranked 27th in the NHL in converting man-advantage opportunities on the road.
Columbus pulled to 2-1 on a highlight-reel goal by Zherdev. The Russian rookie, still dealing with possible problems regarding military obligations in his home country, skated from the left dot through the high slot and whipped a wrister past Turco.
Just over a minute later the Stars made it 3-1. Numminen scored on a soft goal, his unobstructed slap shot from the point trickling between Brathwaite’s leg pads. It was the defenseman’s first goal in a Stars uniform since being acquired in an offseason trade with Phoenix.
Modano’s goal “should not happen,” a disgusted Brathwaite said. “From there they kept coming at us and made it 2-0. Then we get back in the game and their third one, that puck can’t go in. We’re starting to work hard and take it to them and they get a weak goal like that.”
Marc Denis replaced Brathwaite in goal to start the second period.
“We battled back, but I’m getting sick and tired of pulling goaltenders,” Blue Jackets coach Doug MacLean said.
After Rob DiMaio fed Matvichuk on a backdoor jam shot to make it 4-1, Nash scored in his third game in a row when he wristed it in from the right dot through heavy traffic.
“He was drafted where he was for a reason,” Turco said of Nash, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2002. “It was a good shot. I’ve not been beaten clean in a long time.”
Pirjeta’s second goal pulled the Blue Jackets within a goal with 6:44 left,but the Stars and Turco sealed off the defensive end.
Dallas RW Jere Lehtinen missed his second game with the flu and C Jason Arnott was scratched with an ankle injury. … Three players hold the record for the fastest goal at the start of a game: 5 seconds. Alexander Mogilny is the last to do it, for Buffalo in 1991 against Toronto. … The Stars killedthree penalties, running their streak to 38 in a row.