Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 10: 3-2 Win at the Colorado Avalanche

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The streak has been broken.

The Dallas Stars had lost three straight road games and five of their last six overall before a couple of firsts elevated them to a 3-2 win in Denver against the Avalanche Monday night.

Jamie Benn and Brenden Morrow scored their first goals of the season and Kari Lehtonen stopped 29 out of 31 shots to earn the victory.

Jamie Benn tallied a point on each of the Stars’ goals, scoring two and getting an assist off the faceoff that led to Morrow’s goal. Jaromir Jagr had a strong game taking three shots and earning an assist on Morrow’s goal, and Derek Roy assisted on Benn’s second goal in his first game since being placed on injured reserve with a groin ailment.

Penalties continued to plague the Stars as they went 1-for-5 on the penalty kill, but they failed to score a goal on five power play chances of their own, including a full two-minute 5-on-3 late in the first period.

Statistically, the Avalanche dominated the game. Dallas was outshot 31-26, outhit 24-10, blocked 11 fewer shots and won fewer faceoffs (34-25), but they took advantage of their opportunities and ground their way to victory.

Jamie Benn opened the scoring 2:21 into the game when he stole the puck from Avalanche defenseman Matt Hunwick at the Colorado blue line, skated in alone and snapped a wrister past Semyon Varlamov’s blocker.

Nearly nine minutes later, Benn lost a faceoff to Varlamov’s left, but Jagr won the puck battle and took the puck between two Avalanche. He skated toward the net and took a shot that was blocked out in front of the net, but Morrow was standing on the edge of the crease and buried the puck in the back of the net. Morrow scored another goal in the second period, but it was waved off and he was sent to the penalty box for goalie interference because he made contact with Varlamov at the top of the crease.

Pre-game ceremonies were held in honor of Milan Hejduk playing his 1,000th game, and fittingly he scored Colorado’s first goal of the game on a 3-on-2 counterattack with 1:48 left in the first period.

Colorado tied the game on a power play goal when PA Parenteau knocked in a rebound off of Lehtonen 11:33 into the second period. About four minutes later the Stars pulled Lehtonen and possessed the puck on a delayed penalty to Colorado. Roy received a drop pass from Aaron Rome as he skated into the Colorado zone. Roy passed the puck quickly to Benn, who was skating alone into the high slot. He was left open and ripped a wristshot into the net again on Varlamov’s right side.

The Stars’ next game is Wednesday night as they face he high-flying young Edmonton Oilers.

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