Monday, November 28, 2011
Dallas Stars 3, Colorado Avalanche 1
Banged-up Stars bang one out on the road.
The Dallas Stars responded to their recent barrage of injuries with a solid effort Monday night in Colorado, defeating the Avalanche 3-1. The win snapped a two-game winless streak and improved Dallas to 14-9-1, momentarily in first place in the Pacific Division. Colorado fell to 10-13-1.
The game was a tense goaltending duel until the final five minutes, with both teams trading grade-A scoring chances and both teams getting denied by spectacular goaltending. Stars backup Andrew Raycroft, in for an injured Kari Lehtonen and 0-5-0 entering the game, stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced for his first win of the season. Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped 32 of 34 but was nevertheless handed his tenth loss of the season.
Dallas opened the scoring 16 minutes into the first period when Vernon Fiddler, who was injured by a Sheldon Souray shot in the previous game, skated in and got the puck to Eric Nystrom collected his own rebound and stuffed it in from close range for his 8th goal of the young season and a 1-0 lead.
Both teams traded scoring chances at even strength the rest of the way, but nothing got past either netminder until 14:36 into the third period when Loui Eriksson collected a clearing attempt in his own zone and found a completely uncovered Michael Ryder at center ice. Ryder skated in and roofed one over Varlamov for his eighth goal of the season and a 2-0 lead.
Colorado struck back less than two minutes later when Kevin Porter collected a long rebound and scored his first of the year, breaking Raycroft's impressive shutout bid with just three and a half minutes to play. The Stars responded three minutes later when Ryder beat an Avs defenseman to a puck and shot it into an empty net from a tough angle for the 3-1 victory and his ninth of the season.