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Nash scores overtime winner for Blue Jackets in 5-4 victory over Stars

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Nash scores overtime winner for Blue Jackets in 5-4 victory over Stars

The Canadian Press
By:

DALLAS - Rick Nash scored from the slot with 20 seconds left in overtime to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 5-4 season-opening victory over the Dallas Stars on Friday night.

Nash scored after taking a pass from Jason Chimera. Columbus, which won for only the second time in its past 19 games against the Stars, had gone ahead by scoring three goals in less than a five-minute span of the third period. Kristian Huselius, one of six players making their debuts with the Blue Jackets, knocked a rebound past Marty Turco just 2 1/2 minutes into the third period to start the scoring surge.

But Brad Richards and Trevor Daley later scored only 33 seconds apart for the Stars to tie the game.

While there were a lot of newcomers on the ice for the Blue Jackets, Nash is the franchise's career leader in goals (155). This was his 25th game-winning goal.

The Stars opened the 15th-anniversary season of their move from Minnesota to Texas, with original Dallas players Neal Broten, Craig Ludwig, Andy Moog and Shane Churla taking part in a pre-game ceremony.

Dallas won the 1999 Stanley Cup with coach Ken Hitchcock, who was also in the building - opening his third season as Columbus' coach.

Andrew Murray put the Blue Jackets up 3-2 with 13:39 left, knocking in his own rebound after taking a backhand centring pass from Jiri Novotny. Less than a minute later, Derrick Brassard knocked a puck off a defender's skate for another goal.

Stephane Robidas got his third assist of the game when his shot was deflected and knocked in by Richards with 3:18 left in regulation. The Stars kept the pressure on, and with Brenden Morrow screening Pascal Leclaire, the goalie never didn't see Daley's shot in time to stop the tying goal.

Leclaire had 27 saves. Turco stopped 22 shots.

Jakub Voracek, the 19-year-old right wing who was Columbus' first-round pick in 2007, scored a goal in his NHL debut. But his goal in the first period, which whizzed past Turco and then richocheted back toward the right circle, wasn't awarded until a couple minutes after that following a replay review.

Play continued for several more seconds and the puck was at the other end before officials stopped play and looked at replay to determine that the Voracek had scored with about four minutes left in the first period. Teammates were poking the rookie on the bench while officials reviewed the shot.

Dallas dominated the second period, taking 15 shots before the Blue Jackets got their first shot of the period.

Stars rookie James Neal scored his first career goal less than three minutes after Morrow's power-play goal made up for the captain earlier missing an open net.

Morrow pumped both of his arms in celebration after scoring when the Stars had a two-man advantage in the second period to tie the game. Neal extended his stick with one arm to poke Stephane Robidas' backhand pass into the net past Pascale Leclaire.

Less than eight minutes into the game, Morrow took a pass from Mike Ribeiro and had an open shot at the net. His shot richocheted off the post.

Notes: Dallas is 14-2-3 the last 19 games against the Blue Jackets. ... The start of the game was delayed for several minutes to repair the ice in the centre of the rink. Once play began, it was 7 1/2 minutes before the first whistle stopping the action. ... The Stars are 8-3-4 in season openers since moving to Dallas. ... Both teams have back-to-back games. Dallas plays Saturday at Nashville, and Columbus goes to Phoenix. ... Agitating forward Sean Avery made his debut with the Stars. He was in the penalty box less than 12 minutes into the game.

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Nash scores overtime winner for Blue Jackets in 5-4 victory over Stars