Series (Game 1 of 4)

Dallas leads 4-0

Game 1: Saturday, October 25th
Blue Jackets2
Game 2: Saturday, December 27th
Blue Jackets3
Game 3: Wednesday, February 4th
Blue Jackets0Final
Game 4: Wednesday, March 3rd
Blue Jackets2Final

Stars 3

(5-4-0, 10 pts)

Blue Jackets 2

(3-5-0, 6 pts)

7:00 PM ET, October 25, 2003

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

1 2 3 T
DAL 0 0 33
CBJ 0 1 12

B. Guerin (Stars - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

A. Nedorost (Blue Jackets - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

P. Boucher (Stars - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Dallas 3, Columbus 2

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Dallas Stars regained their offense -- and reversed a listless start.

Bill Guerin assisted on three third-period goals as the Stars beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Saturday night.

"Everybody stepped up their play and their emotion, and that's what we needed," Guerin said of the Stars' late surge. "That's one of the great things about this game -- the passion, the emotion that you have playing. If you don't have that, you might as well not play. You can tell who doesn't have it out there. It's easy to tell."

Jason Arnott, Philippe Boucher and Rob DiMaio scored for the Stars, who had gone 160 minutes and 41 seconds without a goal before Arnott tied the game at 1-all midway through the third period.

DiMaio's goal with 2:24 left was the difference. Columbus goaltender Marc Denis protested that he was pulled down as DiMaio shot from the top of the right circle.

"It shouldn't have counted," Blue Jackets coach Doug MacLean said. "You can't brush a goaltender on a shot. Bottom line: he was in the crease. Obviously, they didn't see it that way."

Rick Nash and Andrej Nedorost scored for the Blue Jackets. Nash ended Columbus' scoreless run at 110 minutes and 16 seconds, scoring on a five-on-three rush in the second period.

Marty Turco had 25 saves for the Stars. Denis finished with 31, giving up three goals in the third period on nine shots after stopping 22 shots in the opening 40 minutes.

"This is something we needed -- a little character-building," Turco said. "It's tough when you have to kill a lot of penalties, but the good news is we came back."

Down 1-0, the Stars pulled even on Arnott's goal off Guerin's centering pass from the right boards that hit the skate of a Blue Jackets player before Arnott scored from the slot with 12:32 remaining.

"We can't be doing that every night," Arnott said. "It's going to cost us. In the third we tried to get a guy driving to the net, get the third guy coming late for shots and it paid off."

Nedorost countered less than a minute later, carrying the puck around defender John Erskine and beating Turco after skating in along the right goal line.

Boucher made it 2-all with his third goal of the year with 6:36 left. Guerin rifled a pass across the ice to Boucher near the boards, the puck bouncing off the wall and Boucher firing a one-timer high over Denis on the stick side.

During the second intermission, coach Dave Tippett had instructed the Stars to play and stop taking chippy penalties. They didn't pick up a penalty in the third period.

"We just talked about hanging around as long as we could and give ourselves a chance to win," he said. "And that's what we did."

DiMaio scored the winner when he blasted a shot in stride off a perfect pass from the blue line by Guerin.

"We needed everybody to do just a little extra. Keep their mouth shut and just go play the game," DiMaio said.

The Stars withstood a two-minute, two-man disadvantage in the first period. The only scoring chance for the Blue Jackets came when Lasse Pirjeta had an open net and shot just wide.

There was a smattering of boos when the Stars killed the penalties, but the Blue Jackets made the most of their next chance.

On another two-minute five-on-three, Andrew Cassels poked a setup pass to David Vyborny in the slot, but Turco blocked the shot. The puck bounced to Nash on the right wing and he jammed it past a sprawling Turco.

It was Nash's fifth goal in seven games.

"We really didn't compete," Nash said of the Blue Jackets' fourth loss in a row. "We lost a game that we had right in our hands at the end."

Game notes

Columbus LW Geoff Sanderson was a late scratch with a sore hip. ... Dallas LW Brenden Morrow left in the second period with a headache and did not return. ... Former Blue Jackets G Ron Tugnutt, who once received six write-in ballots for president from Columbus voters, was cheered when he was shown on the video screen. ... Columbus called up veteran D Anders Eriksson just before the game.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press