Stars Dominate Play, but Fall to Varlamov and Avalanche

Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 12:02 AM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars Dominate Play, but Fall to Varlamov and Avalanche

The Dallas Stars dominated play for most of the night against the Colorado Avalanche, but it didn’t add up to a victory or even a point. Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov was superb in net, stopping 41 of 44 shots as Colorado defeated the Stars, 4-3 at American Airlines Center.

“Throw out the first five minutes and we dominated,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Their goalie stole the show.”

The Stars outshot the Avalanche 44-21 on the night, including 32-11 over the final two periods. Shots directed at the net were 71-41 in favor of the Stars.

“We had a lot of great opportunities late. We couldn’t get it to go,” said Ruff. “We probably had five or six point blank chances in the second to blow the game open and he was there and made some saves.”

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Stars, who overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to tie the game 3-3 going into the third period.

“It was a bit of a tough start, but we did a lot of good things in this game,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “We worked pretty hard and I thought we outworked them. They capitalized on a couple of lucky goals there. That’s the difference in the game.”

Colorado won for the sixth time in the last eight games (6-2-0) and improved to 10-3-1 in its last 14 games.

“It was very entertaining for the fans. I thought they played well tonight. The difference in the game without a doubt was the start of the game and the performance of our goalie,” said Colorado coach Patrick Roy. “Having such a good start, they had to play catch-up hockey. In this league, it’s very difficult, but they had a really good second period. They had almost what 19 or 20 shots on net? They were buzzing. It’s high-tempo team. Our goalie was outstanding.”

The Avalanched scored 1:40 into the game to take a 1-0 lead. After Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski turned the puck over in the neutral zone, Colorado entered the offensive zone and the end result was Nathan MacKinnon scoring off a close range backhand shot.

The Stars pushed back, had some chances but Colorado extended the lead to 2-0 late in the period. After Matt Duchene blocked an Alex Chiasson shot, the Avalanche went on the rush and Jamie McGinn scored off a rebound with 4:03 left in the first.

The Stars answered a minute-and-a-half later when Seguin got to the puck along the left boards and set up Benn, who scored from the left circle to make it a 2-1 game with 2:33 left in the first period.

The Stars went on a 59-second four-on-three power play early in the second period and cashed in to tie the game at 2-2. Benn sent a cross-ice pass to Seguin, who scored off a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle 1:02 into the second. The goal snapped a 12-game goal scoring drought for Seguin.

“It felt good,” Seguin said. “I felt like I got a monkey off my back for sure getting that goal.”

The two teams traded goals late in the second period. Colorado took a 3-2 lead with 2:03 left in the period when Paul Stastny scored off a backhand shot with the Avalanche on the power play.

The Stars answered just 16 seconds later when Goligoski set up Seguin, who beat Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov with a shot from the right circle off the rush to make it a 3-3 game.

The Stars went on a power play early in the third period, couldn’t cash in and 19 seconds after it expired Colorado took the lead when an Alex Tanguay shot from the left circle deflected off Stars defenseman Sergei Gonchar’s skate and past Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen 4:13 into the period.

"The puck goes off our skate into the net for the game-winning goal,” said Ruff. “That's tough."

“That’s tough,” Benn said of giving up the goal right after the power play. “Power plays can make a difference in the game. I think we got one, but two or three would have done it.”

The Stars went on another power play with 19:38 remaining in the game when Avalanche forward Patrick Bordeleau put the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty. The Stars had a couple of great chances, but Varlamov stoned Seguin and Erik Cole from close range. Later in the period he stopped Antoine Roussel breaking in and then denied Cody Eakin’s rebound bid.

“Well, if we draw a list of big saves, we might be here tomorrow,” said Roy. “In the third, point blank, pass across, he made at least three or four. He’s playing outstanding for us. I just want to be careful because I just want to go one game at a time. I think that’s the approach Varly has, but we understand what he’s been doing for us.”

And what he did Monday night was steal points from the Stars.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.




1 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
6 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
7 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
8 NSH 55 25 21 9 142 148 59
9 ARI 54 25 23 6 143 164 56
10 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
11 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49


J. Benn 55 28 34 16 62
T. Seguin 55 28 32 11 60
J. Klingberg 55 10 36 14 46
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 55 16 24 -2 40
A. Goligoski 55 4 20 16 24
C. Eakin 55 10 13 0 23
M. Janmark 55 10 10 14 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 52 6 13 7 19
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 15 5 0 .912 2.79 is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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