At this rate, the Columbus Blue Jackets may as well go for the best odds of winning the top overall pick in the draft.
The Dallas Stars scored four times in less than seven minutes in the second period and goalie Jake Oettinger allowed just one goal as the Stanley Cup runner-ups beat the Blue Jackets for the second time in three nights, this time by a 5-1 margin.
Saturday night's game was the final of eight meetings between the non-traditional division rivals. With the loss, Columbus finishes the season with a 3-4-1 mark against Dallas.
The Blue Jackets did have a lead, though brief, in the game. Vladislav Gavrikov scored his second goal of the season at the 6:06 mark of the first period, with Oliver Bjorkstrand and Cam Atkinson picking up the helpers.
The short-lived lead would last just over six minutes, when Jamie Benn tied the game at 1-1, beating starting netminder Joonas Korpisalo at the 12:35 mark.
The game remained 1-1 over halfway into the second period before the latest meltdown began. Denis Gurianov gave the Stars a lead at the 10:10 mark, the ageless Joe Pavelski added his 18th just three minutes later to make it 3-1, and John Klingberg made it 4-1 Dallas just twenty seconds after Pavelski's tally.
After head coach John Tortorella pulled Korpisalo, Dallas would make it 5-1 when Esa Lindell buried the first shot of the night on Elvis Merzlikins. Merzlikins would settle in, and stop the final 13 Stars' shots on the night.
Dallas' four second period goals would come on just eight shots. It was the third time in the last eight games that the Blue Jackets have pulled their starting goaltender.
In the final minutes of the second period, Max Domi picked up another game misconduct, his second in three games. Dallas would not score on the power play, but Domi finished a -4 for the night. Only Patrik Laine, who was also a -4 for the game, has a worse plus/minus rating for the Blue Jackets this season.
Columbus is dangerously close to falling into last place in the division, as the loss keeps them just one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings. Overall, the Blue Jackets rank 26th of 31 in point percentage, but are within striking distance of dipping as low as 30th.
The Blue Jackets are without both Boone Jenner and Zach Werenski due to season-ending surgeries. Emil Bemstrom is on an unknown timeline due to injury. Gus Nyquist will not return this season, head coach John Tortorella announced Saturday.
It only gets harder from here. The Blue Jackets are off Sunday, then travel to Sunrise for a back-to-back against the Florida Panthers. Puck drop Monday is 7:00 P.M.
Follow 1st Ohio Battery