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Friday, April 8, 2011
Stars top Avalanche 3-2

By Mark Stepneski

The Dallas Stars kept their playoff hopes alive with a 3-2 win at Colorado Friday night. It was the fourth straight win for the Stars, who got goals from Mike Ribeiro, Loui Eriksson and Brenden Morrow. Kari Lehtonen stopped 15 of 17 shots.

Quotable

“It’s never easy to come up here (Denver), but we battled through, played hard and everyone was involved. Kari mad the save at the right time for us. It was just a team effort. It was a good thing we won. It keeps the dream alive and keep believing that we still can get in.” – Stars center Mike Ribeiro

“Still alive. That’s what we were hoping to do. We are trying to win our games and hopefully we can get some help, but we don’t have any control over that. All we can do is focus on is to get ready for Sunday and a big game in Minnesota.” – Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas.

“It boils down to one game. We’ll worry about our game and hope for some help.” – Stars captain Brenden Morrow

First period

The Stars played a strong first period, outshooting the Avalanche 11-2 and scoring the only goal at the 10:51 mark.

Defenseman Karlis Skrastins pinched in on the offensive play, sent the puck on net from the left circle and Mike Ribeiro deflected it past Avalanche goaltender Peter Budaj.

There were no lineup changes for the Stars. Brad Lukowich and Tomas Vincour were scratched. Krys Barch, who was injured in the morning skate, Nicklas Grossman (knee) and Brian Sutherby (back) are out.

Second period

The Stars extended their lead 6:56 into the second on a goal by Loui Eriksson. Alex Goligoski made a nice play to keep the puck in at the blue line and moments later Brad Richards sent a pass from behind the goal line to Eriksson, who scored from close range.

The Stars had a chance to extend the lead with their third power play chance, but after a turnover Colorado’s Brandon Yip scored on a two-on-one to make it a 2-1 game with 6:52 left in the period.

That goal gave the Avalanche some life. They came close to tying the game, but Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen made a nice pad save on Daniel Winnik with a little more than two minutes left in the period.

Third period

The Stars extended their lead to 3-1 just 40 seconds into the third period. Off the rush, Ribeiro sent a pass to Steve Ott, who quickly centered it and Morrow tapped it into an open net.

Colorado made it a 3-2 game 5:00 into the third when Jay McClement dropped a pass to Yip off the rush and Yip scored off a wrist shot to make it a 3-2 game.

Colorado pulled Budaj with 1:19 remaining and had a couple of chances. Ribeiro limped off the ice at the end of the game after blocking a shot in the final seconds.

Stars lineup

Morrow-Ribeiro-Ott
Benn-Richards-Eriksson
Petersen-Wandell-Langenbrunner
Segal-Williams-Burish

Skrastins-Robidas
Fistric-Goligoski
Woywitka-Daley

Lehtonen
Raycroft (backup)

Injured:  Grossman (knee), Sutherby (back), Barch (lower body)

Scratches:  Vincour, Lukowich

Power play units

Morrow-Ribeiro-Eriksson-Goligoski-Richards
Ott-Benn-Langenbrunner-Daley-Robidas

Penalty kill units

Ott-Benn-Skrastins-Robidas
Petersen-Langenbrunner-Goligoski-Fistric
Ribeiro-Morrow-Skrastins-Robidas