Thursday, March 21, 2013
Colorado Avalanche 4, Dallas Stars 3
Stars blow yet another two-goal lead in yet another disappointing loss.
The Dallas Stars found a way to lose in regulation to the worst team in the Western Conference Wednesday night in Colorado, going down 4-3 to the Avalanche. The loss was their fifth in their last six games and dropped Dallas to 13-13-3 on the season. The Avs improved to 11-14-4 and are now just three points back of the 11th-place Stars.
As they have so many times already this season, the Stars blew a two-goal lead in spectacular fashion. The Stars got off to a great start in the first period despite getting outshot 13-10. Jaromir Jagr started the scoring at 12:06 of the first when he skated into the zone, slowed up to let the Avs defense fly past him and wristed one past Colorado netminder Semyon Varlamov for his 11th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.
Four minutes later Jagr dished the puck to defenseman Trevor Daley, who wristed a shot from the circle for third of the year and a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
The wheels started to come off in the second period. The Avs cut the lead in half at 8:48 when the puck took a strange bounce off the boards and onto Mark Olver's stick. Olver roofed it from close range for his third of the year.
Five minutes later, with Dallas on their fourth powerplay of the night, Daley turned the puck over in his own zone. Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog stole it, skated in unopposed, shot and then banged in his own rebound for his sixth of the year and the first shorthanded goal allowed all season by the Stars.
The Stars got one back two and a half minutes later at 15:56 of the second when Ray Whitney took the puck around the net, faked a shot twice before backhanded it over Varlamov for his fourth goal of the season and a 3-2 lead.
Dallas couldn't hold on to a third period lead once again, as Colorado tied it at 6:20 of the third when Ryan O'Reilly simply skated down the left side and wristed a low-percentage shot right past Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen and in for his third of the year and a 3-3 tie.
Both teams traded chances, with Dallas failing to capitalize on six powerplays, until Chuck Kobasew collected a sharp-angle rebound and pushed it home for a 4-3 lead with just three and a half minutes remaining.
Lehtonen was sub-par, stopping 30 of the 34 shots he faced, while Varlamov was simply one better, making 29 saves on 32 shots.
Dallas' next game is tommorow night in Los Angeles, where they will take their abysmal losing record in the second game of back-to-backs against the surging 17-10-2 Kings. The Stars will likely start former #1 pick Jack Campbell in net in his first NHL game.