A very angry Rick Bowness, an outstanding opposing goaltender performance, and another anemic offensive game for the Stars tonight.
Oliver Bjorkstrand, Zach Werenski, and Alex Texier each had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets (4-2-0).
Elvis Merzlikins made 31 saves and has recorded a 4-0-0 record to start the season.
“We want to bounce back after the Carolina [Hurricanes] game,” Hofmann said. “I think from the first shift we were on our feet, we move our legs really well, we support each other. When we have a chance, we score at the right time.”
Tyler Seguin scored in his second consecutive game and Braden Holtby made 22 saves for the Dallas Stars (3-3-0).
“They simply worked harder than us,” Stars forward Jamie Benn said. “It just shouldn’t happen. You can be as talented and whatever in this league. It doesn’t take much to work hard and work hard as a group. For some reason, we didn’t do that tonight.”
Jack Roslovic passed the puck to Bjorkstrand in the slot who sent a wrist shot to the short side of Holtby to give Columbus a 1-0 lead 5:53 into the first period.
“Obviously, that first goal, pretty bad timing by me,” Stars defenseman John Klingberg said. It was his first game since being injured against the New York Rangers on Oct. 14.
At 7:17 of the second period, Columbus forward Cole Sillinger appeared to score. The play was reviewed and video showed that the puck never completely crossed the goal line.
Hofmann forced a turnover by Dallas forward Radek Faksa and snapped the shot over the shoulder of Holtby to give Columbus a 2-0 lead 10:39 into the second period.
“Yeah, wait 28 years, long time,” Hofmann said about his first goal. “Play with two great players tonight and the puck was right there in the slot, so I have to put it in.”
Stars coach Rick Bowness called a time out after the goal.
“Just get our heads in the game,” Klingberg said about what Bowness said to the team in the timeout. “I mean, they were coming all over us. We got away with one and then they scored a couple shifts after, and that doesn’t have to happen. That’s going to be on us boys to get our heads in the game there.”
Werenski got behind Dallas defenseman Miro Heiskanen on a 3-on-2 break and scored on a cross-ice pass from Sean Kuraly to make the score 3-0 for Columbus 5:14 into the third period.
Seguin scored with 2:19 left in the game with the Dallas goaltender pulled for an extra attacker to make the score 3-1.
Texier scored an empty net goal 30 seconds later for the 4-1 final.