The Dallas Stars failed to hold two leads, and the Colorado Avalanche scored a goal with 3:29 left in the third period to defeat the stars 4-3 Wednesday night in Colorado.
The Stars led 2-0 heading into the second period and 3-2 heading into the third, but they were unable to hold off the Avalanche. It was a physical, fast-paced game that was void of any power play goals.
Dallas opened the scoring with a goal on a counter-attack. They stopped a Colorado 3-on-2 and took the puck 200 feet the other way. Jagr entered the zone along the far right boards, and two teammates headed straight for the net. The net crashing opened up some ice for Jagr to skate into the middle of the zone and rip a wrist shot that went through Colorado’s Simyon Varlmov and into the net.
Jagr helped give the Stars a 2-0 lead with less than four minutes left in the first period. He held the puck near the blue line for a few seconds while he attracted the attention of two Avalanche players. He then dished a pass off the right wing boards to a wide open Trevor Daley, who took a few strides toward the net before rifling it between Varlamov’s legs.
Mark Olver put Colorado on the board 8:48 into the second period when the Avalanche came flying into the offensive zone and outworked the Stars behind the net. Their pressure on the forecheck led to a turnover and Patrick Bordeleau ended up missing a shot just wide of the left post. Olver was standing next to the net as is bounced off the end boards and put it past Kari Lehtonen.
A turnover by Daley at the Stars blue line led to a short-handed Colorado unit charging ahead on a 2-on-1. Captain Gabriel Landeskog waited for Daley to lay down in an attempt to cut off a pass, and he took a wrist shot on net. Lehtonen stopped the intial shot, but Landeskog was able to bury the rebound.
Ray Whitney gave the Stars the lead again with under five minutes left in the second period. Jagr passed the puck from the right corner to Whitney, who was behind the Colorado net. Whitney circled around to the front of the net with the puck on his backhand. He circled around until he almost reached the left post, and then he lifted a backhand shot through the crowd in front of over a sprawling Varlamov.
Colorado took back over the game in the third period. Ryan O’Reilly blasted out of his own zone and received a pass near center ice. He used his speed to burst into the offensive zone, forcing Stephane Robidas to struggle to defend him. O’Reilly had enough positioning and open ice behind Robidas to take a shot from the left circle that zipped over Lehtonen’s blocker and into the net.
Ray Whitney left the game early in the period with an upper body injury, and Stephane Robidas was injured near the end up regulation when the puck struck his head. A shot from the side boards rose and hit Robidas in the side of the head, seemingly around the ear. Robidas fell to the ice in pain and the puck fell just to the right of Lehtonen. Kobasew was in position to quickly put the puck in past Lehtonen short side and the Avalanche had their first lead of the game with 3:29 left in regulation.
The Stars were unable to mount a comeback and lost. Lehtonen stopped 28 shots on the night and Varlamov stopped 31. The Stars were 0-for-6 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.