Alexander Radulov finally had the bounce back in his step.
The forward could be seen literally bouncing up and down on the Stars’ bench during the playing of the national anthem at the American Airlines Center on Monday night.
And with less than a minute to go in the second period, he certainly had it after snapping a shot from the low slot that tied the game at one goal a piece. Naturally, a raucous celebration ensued.
For the first time since he suffered a lower-body injury in the team’s seventh game, Radulov was back on the ice, skating alongside Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.
Clearly, coach Jim Montgomery made the right decision to get the three-man band back together as soon as possible.
Radulov clearly provided a spark but it wasn’t enough as the Stars fell 2-1 in losing their seventh consecutive meeting with the Blue Jackets.
In his first seven games this season, Radulov got off to a hot start, recording 11 points (five goals, six assists in seven games).
The team usually needs the trio to be at their best, but that point was especially true against the Blue Jackets. Montgomery is trying to plug various holes in the lineup created by injures to defenseman John Klingberg, Marc Methot and Stephen Johns, among others.
Forward Devin Shore also sustained a lower-body injury and did not return.
Although Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is having an inconsistent season, at least for him, he’s been the Dallas’ very own bogeyman. In his career, the netminder has recorded a 9-1-1 record against the Stars with a .944 save percentage and 1.80 goals-against average.
When these two teams met last Tuesday, the Russian stopped 27 of 28 shots as the Blue Jackets won 4-1.
Early on, things were ugly for the Stars’ top line.
Seguin and Benn combined to take multiple penalties. The Stars captain even earned himself a five-minute major for fighting forward Josh Anderson.
As for Radulov, whatever has been ailing his leg wasn’t all that noticeable. However, twice he had the puck near the front of the night and made an unnecessary pass rather than take a shot.
But with less than a minute to go in the second period, Miro Heiskanen was able to draw the defense in as maneuvered his way down near the goal line.
And when he weaved a pass to Radulov in the low slot, the winger didn’t hesitate for an instant, as he fired a shot that touched off Bobrovsky’s right pad and into the goal.
Radulov and the Stars, who have lost two straight, try to get back on track Friday at home against the Boston Bruins.