COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Sergei Bobrovsky has been going through a rough patch, but his performance against the Dallas Stars should go a long way toward pushing his confidence level back up.
Bobrovsky, a former Vezina Trophy winner in the last year of his contract with Columbus, was 3-6 this season and had been competing with backup Joonas Korpisalo for playing time as the inconsistent Blue Jackets struggled early.
The 30-year-old Russian turned in one of his best games this season, stopping 27 shots to help Columbus end a two-game skid by beating the Stars 4-1 on Tuesday night. He capped it by withstanding a 6-on-5 surge after Dallas pulled its goalie late in the game.
“He was really good tonight,” said Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella, who has been critical of Bobrovsky at times this year. “They had some point-blank chances on some of our breakdowns, and he looked in control.”
The Stars finished a 3-2-1 trip. They looked a step behind Columbus at times after losing in overtime at Boston on Monday night.
“A lot of good things on this road trip from our team, but tonight we just didn’t have it,” Dallas center Tyler Seguin said. “They were winning a lot of the battles.”
Anthony Duclair, Markus Nutivaara, Nick Foligno and Ryan Murray scored for the Blue Jackets.
“We took advantage of a team that went to overtime last night and was probably a little tired, but we knew we had to jump on them,” Foligno said. “They’re a skilled team. If you don’t jump on them and they get going they can make you pay. We knew we had to be physical. We knew we had to do the little things.”
Ben Bishop stopped 30 shots, and Jamie Benn scored for Dallas.
Duclair used a screen by teammate Boone Jenner to beat Bishop with a shot from the left circle with a minute left in the opening period, giving Columbus its first power-play goal in six games going back to Oct. 25.
“It’s something we all know we’re capable of doing,” Foligno said. “It’s funny how your mind can play tricks with you. It’s nice to see guys rewarded in what’s been a tough area for us. It needs to be a big part of our success.”
Nutivaara made it 2-0 with his second goal of the season in the middle of the second period, a one-timer from the right circle off a slick cross-ice pass from Artemi Panarin. Foligno rocketed a one-timer over the 6-foot-7 Bishop’s shoulder from the left dot late in the second to give the Blue Jackets a two-goal lead.
Dallas scored on a power-play early in the third, with Benn getting his team-leading seventh goal of the season.
Murray finished it with an empty-net goal with about two minutes left.
“They did a great job in front of me,” Bobrovsky said. “It was a good team win.”
NOTES: Columbus has beaten Dallas six straight times. … D Dean Kukan replaced Scott Harrington in the Columbus lineup. F Lukas Sedlak replaced Oliver Bjorkstrand. … Dallas forward Brett Ritchie missed his second straight game due to an illness. D Marc Methot missed his third game with a lower-body injury. F Alexander Radulov missed his fourth game with a lower-body injury. … Jenner has three assists in the past three games. … Bobrovsky is 11-1-1 against Dallas in his career.
Dallas: Hosts San Jose tonight.
Columbus: At Washington on Friday night.