"The first one was a little tough here," he said, referring to
a 4-2 loss to his former teammates on Nov. 1. "I had a lot of
other stuff going on outside of the game. I had a lot of people to
see and there were a lot of memories. This time it was strictly
The shutout was the fourth of the season for Tugnutt, who had 23
saves in a 3-0 victory Sunday over San Jose. Tugnutt, filling in
for injured starter Marty Turco, ran his scoreless streak to 122
minutes, 57 seconds with his 25th career shutout.
"I think this was a good one for him," Dallas coach Dave
Tippett said. "We played very well with the puck tonight. We did a
lot of little things, supported the puck well and I don't think we
gave them too much."
The Stars have 95 points, one fewer than Ottawa in the race for
the NHL's best mark. The Senators beat Boston 4-3 in overtime
Tuesday to hold their lead.
Tugnutt was one of the most popular players in the Blue Jackets'
first two seasons, receiving six write-in votes in Franklin County
in the 2000 presidential election. He was traded to Dallas last
summer for a first-round pick in last year's draft. Several fans
held up signs supporting Tugnutt.
After the final horn sounded, Tugnutt raised his arms in
"I felt there was some unfinished business," Tugnutt said. "I
came in and didn't perform well the last time here. I didn't want
to leave whatever friends I have left here with that impression. I
wanted to have a good game today."
Dahlen opened the scoring with his 14th goal at 9:20 of the
first period. Jason Arnott's slap shot from just inside the blue
line went off the skate of Columbus' Tyler Wright and bounced to
Dahlen's stick at the left corner of the crease.
Ott made it 2-0 at 6:34 of the second, taking a pass from Kirk
Muller and coasting in on Blue Jackets goalie Marc Denis. Muller
deked Denis to the ice, then backhanded the puck between Denis'
left skate and the corner post.
"Tip's been giving me every opportunity to prove myself," said
Ott, who has points in five of six games. "Lately I've been
competent out there in putting up some points. I'm just trying to
play hard and get a spot on this team."
The Blue Jackets had almost two minutes of a five-on-three
advantage in the second period, but didn't muster a strong threat.
"When your No. 1 goaltender goes down, it's like a security
blanket," Tippett said of Tugnutt. "He's been up and down a
little bit with consistency, but he seems to be in a groove right
now and it's at a good time for us."
Early in the third period, rookie Rick Nash whiffed on a
point-blank shot before Tugnutt could slide to his side of the
crease. Tugnutt also twice stopped David Vyborny _ who had two
goals Monday night in Columbus' 6-5 loss at Carolina -- on prime
scoring chances. Tugnutt's kick saved denied Vyborny on a wrist
shot with 4:30 left.
"Tugnutt made five or six big saves that kept it from being 1-1
or 2-1," said Columbus interim coach Doug MacLean. "I'm not sure
he saw all of them, but they hit him. He looked sharp. I just wish
it would have happened against somebody else."
Playing their first game with the Stars were center Stu Barnes
and defenseman Lyle Odelein. Barnes was acquired Monday from
Buffalo for Mike Ryan and a 2003 draft pick, with Odelein acquired
from Chicago for Sami Helenius and a future pick the same day.
The Stars opened a three-game road trip, the Blue Jackets
began a three-game homestand. ... Columbus is 17-12-4-2 at home,
7-23-3-1 on the road. ... Dallas is 10-2 against the Blue Jackets.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Nationwide Arena Location: Columbus, Ohio
Referees: Dan O'Halloran, Chris Rooney Linesmen: Brad Kovachik, Steve Miller
Attendance: 17,130 (94.5% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Ulf Dahlen (13)
Assists: Jason Arnott, Sergei Zubov
Steve Ott (3)
Assists: Kirk Muller, Derian Hatcher