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Gurianov has 2 goals for Stars in 4-1 win over Blue Jackets

Denis Gurianov had his first two-goal game of the season, Miro Heiskanen and Joe Pavelski also scored and the Dallas Stars beat the Columbus Blue Jackets for a much-needed 4-1 win Thursday night.

The defending Western Conference champion Stars, who are in sixth place in the Central Division, went ahead for good when Jason Dickinson assisted on goals by Gurianov and Heiskanen just more than a minute apart late in the second period for a 2-1 lead.

Gurianov scored again with just under 12 minutes left in the game on a shot from the left side parallel to the front of the net that ricocheted off Blue Jackets defenseman Michael Del Zotto into the net. Pavelski scored his team-leading 17th goal about seven minutes later.

The Dallas Stars, including Jamie Benn (14), Jason Dickinson (18), Jamie Oleksiak (2) and Joe Pavelski (16) celebrate a second-period goal by Miro Heiskanen (4) against the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL hockey game on Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Dallas. (AP PhotoRichard W. Rodriguez)

The Stars won on a night when Nashville and Chicago, the teams directly ahead of them in the standings, both lost.

The Blue Jackets and Stars wrap up their regular-season series on Saturday night, with Dallas holding a 4-2-1 series lead.

Jack Roslovic scored on Columbus' first shot, taking a pass from Del Zotto and pushing the puck through a wide-open gap to the net behind rookie Jake Oettinger's extended left leg. The Blue Jackets have lost four in a row and seven of eight.

Columbus Blue Jackets center Mikhail Grigorenko (25), center Jack Roslovic (96) and right wing Cam Atkinson (13) celebrate a first-period goal against the Dallas Stars during an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Dallas. (AP PhotoRichard W. Rodriguez)

Oettinger, playing for the first time in five games, stopped the final 17 shots he faced.

Dallas, which has 44 points with 14 regular-season games left, was coming off consecutive overtime losses. One of those was at the fourth-place Predators, who hold the division's final playoff spot with 49 points and 11 regular-season games to play. The fifth-place Blackhawks have 45 points with 12 games to play.

Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins had some close calls even before Gurianov and Heiskanen scored 79 seconds apart to make it 2-1 at the second intermission. Merzlikins had 27 saves.

Dallas Stars defenseman Esa Lindell (23) tries to score on Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Dallas. (AP PhotoRichard W. Rodriguez)

Gurianov's initial goal came when he knocked in his own rebound past a sprawling Merzlikins to tie it at 1 with 3:18 left in the second period. Heiskanen scored, including an assist from Gurianov, on a shot from the slot that went under the goalie's right arm.

PUCK TO THE FACE

Columbus forward Oliver Bjorkstrand had a cut on his nose after taking a puck to the face in the closing seconds of the first period. Stars forward Blake Comeau was trying to chip the puck away out of the slot when he went under the visor of Bjorkstrand, who dropped to the ice momentarily before getting up and skating slowly to the bench. He was wearing a full face shield when play resumed in the second period.

Dallas Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (2) and center Jason Dickinson (18) try to get the puck away from Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Patrik Laine (29) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Dallas. (AP PhotoRichard W. Rodriguez)

SEGUIN SKATES

Six-time All-Star center Tyler Seguin, still rehabbing from offseason hip surgery, went through the morning skate with the Stars. Coach Rick Bowness said it was a positive step for Seguin, who looked good on the ice. Stars general manager Jim Nill said Monday that Seguin could debut in about two weeks, which could be April 26 at home against Carolina.

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Dallas Stars center Andrew Cogliano (11) lunges for the puck after it was deflected by Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) in the second period during an NHL hockey game on Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Dallas. (AP PhotoRichard W. Rodriguez)

Dallas Stars Jamie Benn (14), Joel Hanley (44), Jason Dickinson (18) and Sami Vatanen (45) celebrate a second-period goal by right wing Denis Gurianov against the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL hockey game on Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Dallas. (AP PhotoRichard W. Rodriguez)

Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Stefan Matteau (23) shoots on Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) during the first period during an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Dallas. (AP PhotoRichard W. Rodriguez)

Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (13) celebrates a goal by center Jack Roslovic (96) against the Dallas Stars during the first period during an NHL hockey game on Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Dallas. (AP PhotoRichard W. Rodriguez)