COLUMBUS, Ohio — While some of his Columbus teammates travelled to the Caribbean during the bye week, Joonas Korpisalo went to frosty Cleveland and helped the Blue Jackets’ minor league affiliate to a shootout victory last Saturday.
It served as a nice little tuneup for Thursday night’s game against Dallas.
Korpisalo had 35 saves and Artemi Panarin scored in the second round of a shootout, sending the Blue Jackets to a 2-1 victory over the Stars.
"I knew before the break (of the start against Dallas)," said Korpisalo, who replaced struggling starter Sergei Bobrovsky. "It’s been a long time since I played."
Coach John Tortorella said he wanted to give Bobrovsky, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, some more rest before he takes over again.
"I think Bob has some struggles coming off a break, so this was planned," Tortorella said. "Korpi’s handled himself really well, made some key saves. We were on his back tonight."
Jordan Schroeder scored his first goal of the season for Columbus in the first period. The Blue Jackets (26-18-3) dropped both ends of a back-to-back last week before the break.
Alexander Radulov tied it for Dallas with 2:05 left in regulation. Ben Bishop had 25 stops, including a terrific glove save on Alexander Wennberg with 30 seconds left in the third.
Bishop stopped the first shootout attempt by Jussi Jokinen, who just joined Columbus off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. Korpisalo then denied Jason Spezza.
Panarin beat Bishop in the second round, and Radulov shot wide of the net. Wennberg then came up empty for Columbus, but Korpisalo blocked Tyler Seguin’s try.
The Stars (26-17-4) had won two in a row.
Dallas’ Antoine Roussel tapped a shot into the net early in the third period, but it was waved off because a replay showed Radulov had interfered with Korpisalo. Coach Ken Hitchcock was still steaming about the call after the game, insisting his players were within the rules when they charged the net.
"It’s disappointing because we could have and should have won the hockey game," he said. "I’m confused to say the least."
Schroeder — getting more ice time because of injuries to three top forwards — put the Blue Jackets in front 12:23 into the game. Bishop skated behind the cage to retrieve the puck, but he wasn’t set when Tyler Motte deflected it back out front to Schroeder, who was racing through the slot.
"We were hungry," said Schroeder, who skated on the fourth line with Motte and Lukas Sedlak. "I think it was a huge momentum swing early for our team."
Bishop said the Stars need to play better.
"I think we did a good job of finding a way to get a point there, getting it into overtime," he said. "When it’s this time of the season, you’ve got to find a way to get points when you’re not at your best."
NOTES: Dallas D Dillon Heatherington made his NHL debut. … Columbus put F Sonny Milano on injured reserve. He is expected to miss four to six weeks with an oblique injury. … F Markus Hannikainen was a scratch for Columbus. … Dallas scratches included D Julius Honka and F Gemel Smith.