Avs, Stars meet again
The Colorado Avalanche will try to record their second consecutive win against the Dallas Stars when the teams meet Saturday night at American Airlines Center.
The Stars visited Colorado on Wednesday and lost a 4-3 decision at the Pepsi Center. Dallas, which is 6-6-2 as the home team this season, hopes to return the favor when it hosts the rematch on Saturday.
Colorado's Chuck Kobasew scored the game-winner against the Stars late in the third period, giving the Avalanche three victories in the last five encounters between the clubs. The Avs have also claimed three of the past five games played in Dallas.
Mark Olver posted a goal and two assists on Wednesday while Ryan O'Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog each scored for the Avalanche. Semyon Varlamov posted 29 saves in the win.
"We generate a lot of chances," said Kobasew. "I've been around long enough to know to do whatever we can to win some games. We have to generate a lot of opportunities and when you get them you have to take advantage of them."
Jaromir Jagr had a goal and two assists in a losing effort for Dallas, while Kari Lehtonen gave up all four goals on 34 shots.
"We played flat tonight," said Jagr. "I guess we really didn't know how important this game was and with back-to-back games it's only going to get tougher."
The Stars held a 3-2 lead going into the third period, but the Avalanche tied the game 6:20 in, after O'Reilly rushed down the left wing and flung a wrister on net that fooled Lehtonen. Colorado moved ahead for good with 3:29 to play after Matt Hunwick threw a shot on net from the left boards that hit off the helmet of Stephane Robidas, but the puck sat in front of the net and Kobasew snapped it in.
"A bit of a fluke play, I just took a whack at it and it worked out for us," said Kobasew.
Colorado hasn't won a road game since beating Minnesota on Feb. 14 and the Avs are 2-9-3 as the guest this season. The Avalanche enter Saturday tied with Calgary for last place in the Western Conference.
The Stars already rebounded from the loss in Denver, posting Thursday's 2-0 shutout win at Los Angeles. Lehtonen turned aside 40 shots for his first shutout of the year and helped Dallas blank the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Jagr and Ray Whitney each had a goal for the Stars, who won for the second time in three games following a four-game slide.
"If you can weather the storm the tide will change," said Dallas head coach Glen Gulutzan. "Your goalie saves you and Kari kept us in it. Jagr and Whitney are stingers and they can get you."
The Stars are 6-6-2 as the host this season and are playing the first of five straight on home ice Saturday.