for this game

Russell nets pair as Blue Jackets top Stars

Jan 23, 2008 - 6:14 AM
By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DALLAS (Ticker) - It took Kris Russell a little longer than anticipated to score his first NHL goal, but he certainly made it count.

Russell, a 20-year-old rookie defenseman, recorded his first and second NHL goals - in his 46th game - to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.

Columbus snapped a modest two-game losing streak while Dallas saw its three-game winning streak come to an end.

Andrew Murray had a goal and All-Star Rick Nash added an empty-net tally with 2.5 seconds for Columbus, which stormed back from a 2-0 second-period deficit. Nikolai Zherdev also collected three assists.

It was just the third game that the Blue Jackets ever won in Dallas, as they had been 2-10-1 here - including a 3-1 loss Saturday.

"We haven't had a good record against them," said Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock, who led the Stars to the 1999 Stanley Cup championship. "We've been snakebit in some of our games against them. This is a big step to win on the road against a good opponent."

"It's big doing it here in this building against an experienced team," added goaltender Pascal Leclaire, who was excellent while making 29 saves, including 12 in the third period. "We're in the playoff race, so we need to get points on the road. This is a great way to do it. We hope we can build on this."

Russell's second goal snapped a 2-2 tie with 6:15 remaining to give the Blue Jackets their first lead of the game. With Joel Lundqvist in the penalty box for high-sticking, Zherdev feathered a beautiful pass from the top of the right circle through several defenders to a charging Russell to the left of the crease. Russell drilled it into the empty side of the net.

"It is pretty exciting," Russell said. "I felt like this took forever (to finally score). I was lucky to get some opportunities. This is a big character builder."

"He's had so many scoring chances, it's a big relief," Hitchcock said of Russell. "He puts so much pressure on himself to contribute offensively. It seemed like the weight of the world was off his shoulders. He's felt like he's let a lot of people down (by not scoring more). We kept him on the power play because we knew this day would come."

It was the second meeting in three days between the two clubs, and after one period, closely resembled the previous one, as Columbus outplayed Dallas but had nothing to show for it.

Despite outshooting the Stars, 14-5, in the opening session, the teams were still scoreless until Dallas scored the first goal early in the second period.

Brenden Morrow scored his fourth goal in the last three games - and 20th of the season - at 3:51, banging home a rebound in front after Leclaire stopped Antti Miettinen's one-timer from the high slot.

"Just trying to keep things simple and go to the net," Morrow said of his recent success. "Tonight, it was another two-footer, you shouldn't miss too many of those. I don't know if I got away from that before and was playing away from the net and looking for that fancy play. I'm finding the net right now, things are working, they'd feel a lot better if we won tonight."

Steve Ott doubled Dallas' lead at 8:38 on a similar play, swatting in the loose rebound of a Jeff Halpern slap shot that sat in the crease. It was Ott's career-high sixth goal of the season.

"It was just a scramble for the puck," Ott said. "Halpy shot it and I put it in about six inches from the crease, so it really wasn't much of a tally."

The Blue Jackets, playing the fourth game of a five-game road trip, climbed back into the contest on Russell's first career NHL goal - in his 46th game - at 14:26 of the second. He received a nice cross-ice pass from Zherdev in the left faceoff circle and whipped a quick wrist shot past netminder Mike Smith.

Columbus evened the score at 8:03 of the third period when Murray connected for his third goal, putting home the rebound of a shot by Jan Hejda from the left circle.

Dallas was upset about the goal, contending that there was an icing call earlier on the play that wasn't called. So instead of a whistle and a faceoff at the other end, Columbus tied the game, swinging the momentum its way.

"Their second goal is clearly an icing call that's not called, ends up in our net," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "Things like that let momentum go the other way and it's hard to grab it back. We took another penalty, they score on the power play, their goaltender makes a couple of big saves and we lose."

"I think the 'icing' that was called 'icing' but no whistle was kind of the start of it," Morrow said. "I think our frustration after that kind of got the better of us."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 1 3 4
    DALLAS 0 2 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: DAL - BRENDEN MORROW 20 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, MIKE RIBEIRO) 3:51
    DAL - STEVE OTT 6 (TREVOR DALEY, JEFF HALPERN) 8:38
    COB - KRIS RUSSELL 1 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV) 14:26
    3RD PRD: COB - ANDREW MURRAY 3 (JAN HEJDA, JI

    Jan 22 11:08 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 4
    DALLAS 2
    3RD PRD: COB - (EN) RICK NASH 26 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV) 19:57

    Blue Jackets vs. StarsJan 22 11:07 PM
  • 10
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 15 roots

    Blue Jackets vs. StarsJan 22 11:07 PM
  • 25
    roots
    DanSportsfan Added 5 roots

    Blue Jackets vs. StarsJan 22 11:06 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 3
    DALLAS 2
    3RD PRD: COB - (PP) KRIS RUSSELL 2 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV, ROSTISLAV KLESLA)
    13:45

    Blue Jackets vs. StarsJan 22 10:54 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Blue Jackets vs. StarsJan 22 10:50 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 2
    DALLAS 2
    3RD PRD: COB - ANDREW MURRAY 3 (JAN HEJDA, JIRI NOVOTNY) 8:03

    Blue Jackets vs. StarsJan 22 10:45 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 1 1
    DALLAS 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: DAL - BRENDEN MORROW 20 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, MIKE RIBEIRO) 3:51
    DAL - STEVE OTT 6 (TREVOR DALEY, JEFF HALPERN) 8:38
    COB - KRIS RUSSELL 1 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV) 14:26
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND

    Jan 22 10:26 PM
  • 5
    roots
    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Blue Jackets vs. StarsJan 22 10:12 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    DALLAS 2
    2ND PRD: COB - KRIS RUSSELL 1 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV) 14:26

    Blue Jackets vs. StarsJan 22 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 0
    DALLAS 2
    2ND PRD: DAL - STEVE OTT 6 (TREVOR DALEY, JEFF HALPERN) 8:38

    Blue Jackets vs. StarsJan 22 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 0
    DALLAS 1
    2ND PRD: DAL - BRENDEN MORROW 20 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, MIKE RIBEIRO) 3:51

    Blue Jackets vs. StarsJan 22 9:42 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 0
    DALLAS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 14 14
    DAL 5 5
    GOALIES: COB - PASCAL LECLAIRE
    DAL - MIKE SMITH

    Jan 22 9:18 PM