Eriksson, Richards lead Stars past Avalanche
DALLAS – Loui Eriksson and Brad Richards each had a goal and an assist, and Dallas remained in the playoff race with a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night in the Stars' home finale.
Brenden Morrow and Tom Wandell added goals for the Stars, who've won three straight and improved to 93 points with road games left against Colorado on Friday night and Minnesota on Sunday.
The Stars drew even in points with Calgary for the No. 9 slot in the West, but Calgary has been eliminated with one game left because of tiebreakers.
Dallas is two points behind Chicago and Anaheim for the final Western Conference playoff berth. Anaheim is No. 7, holding the tiebreaker over Chicago. The Ducks and Blackhawks also have two games remaining.
Brandon Yip and Mark Olver scored for the Avs, 4-25-2 in their last 31 games. Colorado will finish No. 29 in the 30-team league.
Wandell gave the Stars the lead with 4:43 left in the first period when his wraparound attempt hit Colorado defenseman Ryan O'Byrne and dribbled over the goal line.
Dallas needed only 52 seconds to make it 2-0 on Eriksson's one-timer from the left circle.
Colorado pulled within 2-1 on Yip's goal from the low slot at 10:15 of the second.
Dallas went on the power play 46 seconds into the third period when O'Byrne went to the penalty box for delay of game after his clearing pass sailed over the Colorado bench. Six seconds later, Morrow had an easy tap-in off Eriksson's feed for his team-high 31st goal of the season and a 3-1 edge.
The Avalanche made the Stars sweat at 11:06 of the third when Olver re-directed Ryan Wilson's pass, but Richards chipped a rebound over goalie Brian Elliott at 12:21 to restore Dallas' two-goal advantage.
Colorado was without seven players, including forwards Paul Stastny (leg) and T.W. Galiardi (forearm), and defensemen John-Michael Liles (concussion), Adam Foote (leg) and Kyle Cumiskey (whiplash).
NOTES: Stars forward Adam Burish (lower body) returned after missing 11 straight games because of a stress fracture in his leg. Dallas is still without D Nicklas Grossman (leg) and forward Brian Sutherby (back). ... Colorado had won five of its previous six against Dallas, including the first two meetings this season. The teams hadn't played since Nov. 20.