Newcomers Laine, Roslovic lead Blue Jackets past Stars 4-3

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic scored for the first time since being traded to Columbus last month, and the Blue Jackets beat the Dallas Stars 4-3 on Thursday night to earn a split of the two-game series.

Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and an assist, Cam Atkinson also scored and Joonas Korpisalo had 24 saves as the Blue Jackets stopped a two-game skid with contributions from their newest members.

Laine and Roslovic came over from Winnipeg on Jan. 23 in a blockbuster trade for Pierre-Luc Dubois.

“It always feels good to contribute,” said Roslovic, who also had an assist.

Jason Dickinson, Roope Hintz and Jamie Benn scored, and Anton Khudobin had 21 saves as Dallas came away with nothing for just the second time in eight games.

“It’s disappointing we’re going home without any points from this game, but that being said, I thought a lot of guys played hard,” Stars forward Blake Comeau said. “I think if anyone asked us if we would be happy with a 5-2-1 start, I think everyone would have taken that.”

Outplayed in the first period, Columbus was fortunate to jump out to a 2-0 lead.

Bjorkstrand got his team-leading fourth goal of the season 2:23 into the game when his shot from a sharp angle got between Khudobin and the near post. Roslovic scored with a hard shot over the goalie’s glove later in the period.

“We were more confident as a group, but there were a lot of parts of the game that went back and forth, and we did a good job pushing back when they were pushing forward,” Roslovic said.

Hintz tipped in Denis Gurianov’s shot from the right circle for a Stars’ power-play goal early in the second.

Laine showed why the Blue Jackets were so hot on him when he found the back of the net with a slick backhand shot. But a turnover by Laine led to a Stars rush and a goal that went in off Dickinson’s skate before the second intermission.

Atkinson tipped in a feed from Bjorkstrand for his 200th career goal at 3:42 of the third period to make it 4-2.

“It couldn’t have been any better and sweeter,” said Atkinson of the goal produced by a play the two drew up on the bench before the faceoff.

Benn poked a shot past Korpisalo at 11:01, but the Stars couldn’t get another one, coming up empty on a late power play and an extra skater on for the goalie.

TORTS CHALLENGE

After a 6-3 loss to the Stars on Tuesday, coach John Tortorella had issued a challenge to his team to be more aggressive forechecking and generally make the game harder on opponents. That’s a style that has brought the Blue Jackets success in recent years.

“Was it perfect? Absolutely not,” he said. “But we found a way to win, hung out with the goalie pulled plus the power play there at the end. We found a way to win.”

AILING ELVIS

The Blue Jackets put goalie Elvis Merzlikins on injured reserve Thursday, a day after he suffered an unspecified upper-body injury during practice. Merzlikins, who is day to day, had been rotating starts with Korpisalo and had come on in relief in Tuesday night’s loss to the Stars. Matiss Kivlenieks was moved from the taxi squad to the roster as the backup.

ICE CHIPS

Stars: D Andrej Sekera was unavailable due to COVID-19 protocol. … Radulov has seven points in the last five games. … Benn has three goals and three assists in the last three games. … Dallas was 1 for 3 on power plays after entering the game ranked third in the NHL with a 40.6% success rate with the man advantage.

Blue Jackets: Nick Foligno and Boone Jenner were teamed with C Mikko Koivu for a forward line that has a combined 39 seasons of NHL experience. … Riley Nash returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game due to the birth of his first child.

UP NEXT:

Stars return home for eight games, starting with a pair against Chicago on Sunday and Tuesday.

Blue Jackets open a back-to-back series with Carolina on Sunday afternoon.

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Follow Mitch Stacy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mitchstacy

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