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Miettinen scores game-winner as Stars rally past Avalanche

Nov 21, 2006 - 3:44 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- After a hot start, the Dallas Stars needed a big win. Antti Miettinen was more than happy to provide the heroics.

Miettinen scored the game-winning goal in the third period as the Stars overcame a pair of deficits to down the Colorado Avalanche, 5-4.

Brenden Morrow scored twice and defenseman Sergei Zubov and Eric Lindros also tallied for Dallas, which started 9-3-0 but is only 3-3-0 since.

"Brenden got two big goals and got us back in the game," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. "I thought as the game moved on, I thought we took over in territorial advantage."

Morrow later left the game with what appeared to be a groin injury late in the second period.

"It's a slight groin tweak and we'll see how it is tomorrow," Morrow said. "I can't remember (when it happened). It was a freaky thing, just skating on the ice. I took three strides and my fourth one was no good. I didn't feel a collision."

Marek Svatos scored twice and Milan Hejduk and blue-liner John-Michael Liles scored for the Avalanche, who have lost five of their last seven.

Miettinen scored the decisive tally with 6:02 left when he picked up a loose puck in the slot and rifled it past Colorado netminder Peter Budaj.

"It went off someone's stick, I took a whack at it and I was lucky it went in, but sometimes it's good to be lucky," said Miettinen, who scored his first game-winner of the season.

"I saw it kind of late," said Budaj, who made 28 saves in a 2-1 triumph over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. "Our team played well. It's been a long road trip for us. We've been playing a lot of good teams. When we score four like tonight, it should be good enough to win, so this is disappointing."

Colorado finished its three-game road trip at 2-1-0. Avalanche captain Joe Sakic had three assists to give him 929 for his career, tying him with defenseman Larry Murphy for 13th place on the all-time list.

Budaj, making his third straight start, recorded 26 saves for Colorado, which went 2-for-4 on the power play but squandered leads of 2-0 and 4-3.

Dallas goaltender Mike Smith recorded 16 stops after replacing Marty Turco, who was pulled after allowing two goals on five shots. The Stars were 1-for-5 with the extra skater.

"Turc's numbers haven't been very good, his save percentage numbers, they've been in the .800s, and he plays a lot," Tippett said. "You give up two early like that, you just want to change the momentum of the game. Sometimes a goalie change can do it."

"He's been great every time he got in the net for us," Miettinen said of Smith, who is 2-1-0 with a 1.34 goals-against average in his three starts this season. "He played great coming in. It's good to know we have a guy backing up Marty when he's not having his best game."

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