Rick Nash scored his 25th game-winning goal, making a shot from the slot on a pass from Jason Chimera with 20 seconds left in overtime, to give the Blue Jackets a 5-4 season-opening victory over the Dallas Stars on Friday night.
"It was a good pass ... I got it, closed my eyes and fired away," said Nash, the first overall pick in the 2002 draft. "We showed a lot of character to come back."
The Blue Jackets recovered from twice blowing the lead to win against the Stars for only the second time in their last 19 meetings.
Columbus, which led 1-0 after 19-year-old Jakub Voracek scored in the first period of his NHL debut, regained the lead by scoring three goals in less than a 5-minute span of the third period. But Dallas then scored twice in 33 seconds to tie the game and force overtime.
"It was a game that probably had more ebbs and flows in it than any one we've been involved in in a long time," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said.
Kristian Huselius, among five other players making their debuts with Columbus, knocked a rebound past Marty Turco just 2 1/2 minutes into the third period to start the scoring surge.
Andrew Murray put the Blue Jackets up 3-2 with 13:39 left, knocking in his own rebound after taking a backhand centering pass from Jiri Novotny. Less than a minute later, Derick Brassard knocked a puck off a defender's skate for another goal.
"We had the momentum, lost it, and got it back in time for a big win," Huselius said.
Stephane Robidas got his third assist when his shot was deflected and knocked in by Brad Richards with 3:18 left in regulation. The Stars kept the pressure on, and with Brenden Morrow screening Pascal Leclaire, the goalie never didn't see Trevor Daley's shot in time to stop the tying goal.
"We found a way to get back in the game and get a point," coach Dave Tippett said. "We'll take the point, that's for sure. But in actual fact, I look at the whole scope of the game. I didn't see enough consistency in our group in how we played, to feel good about the game."
The Stars opened the 15th-anniversary season of their move from Minnesota to Texas, with original Dallas players Neal Broten, Craig Ludwig, Andy Moog and Shane Churla taking part in a pregame ceremony.
Dallas won the 1999 Stanley Cup when Hitchcock was the Stars' coach. He is now in his third season with the Blue Jackets.
Voracek, Columbus' first-round pick in 2007, scored with about minutes left in the first period. But his goal, which whizzed past Turco and then ricocheted back toward the right circle, wasn't awarded until a couple minutes after that following a replay review.
Play continued for several more seconds and the puck was at the other end before officials stopped play and looked at replay to determine that the Voracek had scored. Teammates were poking the rookie on the bench while officials reviewed the shot.
Dallas dominated the second period, taking 15 shots before the Blue Jackets got their first shot of the period.
Stars rookie James Neal scored his first career goal less than 3 minutes after Morrow's power-play goal made up for the captain earlier missing an open net.
Morrow pumped both of his arms in celebration after scoring when the Stars had a two-man advantage in the second period to tie the game. Neal extended his stick with one arm to poke Stephane Robidas' backhand pass into the net past Leclaire.
Less than 8 minutes into the game, Morrow took a pass from Mike Ribeiro and had an open shot at the net. His shot ricocheted off the post.
Notes: Leclaire had 27 saves. Turco had 22. ... Dallas is 14-2-3 the last 19 games against the Blue Jackets. ... The start of the game was delayed for several minutes to repair the ice in the center of the rink. Once play began, it was 7 1/2 minutes before the first whistle stopping the action. ... The Stars are 8-3-4 in season openers since moving to Dallas. ... Both teams have back-to-back games. Dallas plays Saturday at Nashville, and Columbus goes to Phoenix. ... Agitating forward Sean Avery made his debut with the Stars. He was in the penalty box less than 12 minutes into the game.