Special teams turned out to be key as the Dallas Stars fell 2-1 to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday afternoon at American Airlines Center. Paul Stastny’s power play goal with 9:25 remaining snapped a 1-1 tie and held up as the game-winner. The Stars were 0-3 on the power play in the game and Colorado was 1-3. Vernon Fiddler scored the lone goal for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 21 of 23 shots for the Stars.
Midway through the period the Stars and Avalanche had combined for only three shots on goal, and the Avalanche then scored on the fourth shot of the game at the 10:25 mark.
After Kari Lehtonen misplayed a puck behind the net, Paul Stastny set up David Jones, who backhanded the puck into the net as Lehtonen scrambled to get back into position
The Stars were outshot 7-1 in the period and the Stars only shot came 9:48 into the period. The Stars did have a quality scoring chance, but Steve Ott shot high on a breakaway attempt.
The teams traded power play chances in the first half of the period, but neither could take advantage.
Both teams had great scoring chances, but were foiled by big saves. J-S Giguere knocked away a Jamie Benn backhand attempt with his glove at one end and Kari Lehtonen stopped Cody McLeod’s point blank chance at the other end.
The Avalanche got another power play late in the period and Lehtonen came up with a sharp save on Milan Hejduk to keep it a 1-0 game heading into the third period.
The Avalanche outshot the Stars 12-8 in the second and had a 29-9 advantage through two periods.
The Stars came out with a strong push early in the third period and tied the game at the 5:26 mark when Eric Nystrom put a shot on net from close range and Vernon Fiddler backhanded the rebound past Giguere.
The Avalanche got their third power play of the game with 9:38 remaining and scored 13 seconds later to take a 2-1 lead. Erik Johnson put a shot on net from the right boards and Stastny tipped it past Lehtonen.
The Avalanche came close to making a 3-1 game after bad bounce led to a point blank chance for Peter Mueller, but Lehtonen came up with a huge save to keep it a one-goal game.
The Stars got a power play with 1:18 remaining, but were unable to take advantage. Michael Ryder had an open net, but couldn’t get a handle on the puck and T.J. Galiardi broke up the play as Ryder tried to get a second chance at a shot.
Injured: Ribeiro (knee), Larsen (concussion), Vincour (knee)