for this game

Stars rev up power play, rally to edge Avalanche

Dec 28, 2006 - 7:56 AM
DENVER (Ticker) -- Jere Lehtinen and Jeff Halpern helped the Dallas Stars turn the tables against the Colorado Avalanche on specialty teams.

Lehtinen began Dallas' comeback with a power-play goal and Halpern capped it during a man advantage early in the third period as the Stars rallied from a two-goal deficit to post a 5-4 victory over the Avalanche.

Entering just 11-for-75 on the power play over their previous 15 games, the Stars cashed in on nearly every opportunity they received from the Avalanche, who had been extremely successful when down a skater. Colorado came into the contest having killed 22 of its last 23 shorthanded situations, including each of its last 10.

However, it took less than three minutes for Dallas to end the streak as rookie Loui Eriksson netted his third goal of the season for a 1-0 lead. The Avalanche scored four of the next five tallies for a two-goal bulge, but the Stars again used the extra skater to their advantage.

Just 87 seconds after Andrew Brunette gave Colorado a 4-2 cushion, Lehtinen converted a power-play chance for his eighth tally of the season at 13:27 of the middle period. Defenseman Sergei Zubov forged a tie with an even-strength goal 36 seconds into the third, and Halpern cashed in less than two minutes later to put Dallas ahead, jamming a rebound past goaltender Jose Theodore from the doorstep.

"It was a basic point shot and a rebound that came right to me," Halpern said. "Theodore just tried to slide across and it went underneath him."

"We had to get ourselves back in the game," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "We're down one going into the third, we had to find a goal first. Zubov had a great shot and our power play worked pretty good all night. ... I give our guys a lot of credit. They found a way to win a hockey game."

Theodore - who has won just once in his last four starts - was pulled after the tally, much to the delight of the sellout crowd at the Pepsi Center.

"I felt pretty good last game," said Theodore, who yielded five goals on just 22 shots Wednesday. "Tonight, I wasn't there to make the big saves when I needed to."

Zubov picked up his 379th assist as a Star on Lehtinen's goal, putting him one behind Brian Bellows for third place on the franchise list.

The Stars finished 3-for-4 on the power play, sending the Avalanche to their seventh loss in as many games when allowing at least two man-advantage goals.

Chris Conner scored his first career goal and Halpern and Lehtinen added two assists apiece for the Stars, who improved to 3-0-0 against the Avalanche this season, with all three games decided by one tally.

"We have four key guys out right now," Halpern said, alluding to injuries to Mike Modano, Eric Lindros, Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott. "But a guy like Chris Conner comes in and not only scores but plays unbelievable all night. We had a lot of guys step in."

Rookie Wojtek Wolski netted one goal and set up two others for Colorado, which had its season-high four-game home winning streak snapped.

"We definitely have shown in the last couple of games that we are a good team," Wolski said. "So we just have to keep working hard."

Just 47 seconds after Eriksson put Dallas ahead with his third career goal and second at Colorado, Wolski squeezed between a pair of defenders and fired a backhander at Marty Turco, who made the save. But the puck bounced into the air and behind the netminder, allowing Wolski to tap it in for his third goal in two games.

Captain Joe Sakic gave Colorado a 2-1 edge when he buried the rebound of Wolski's shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle with 2:18 to go in the first. It was the 1,529th career point for Sakic, who trails Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey by two for 10th place on the all-time list.

"Numbers are always nice, but it's how you play," Sakic said. "Trying to play consistent and really just trying to stay healthy and keep going. ... When you feel that you're at the end of your career, milestones are something to shoot for. But I haven't paid much attention to that."

The goal was No. 590 for Sakic, who likely will become just the 17th player in NHL history to reach the 600 mark later this season.

"I haven't thought too much about it," he said. "I don't go into a game thinking about it. I'm sure with 40-some games to go, it's going to happen."

Conner knocked in a rebound while in front of the net just 26 seconds afterward to knot the game at 2-2.

"(Defenseman Trevor) Daley took a shot from the point and I was kind of sitting in front," the 23-year-old Conner said. "It just found my stick and I was able to put it in. It's a great feeling."

"It's a great sign for us to get those young guys (Eriksson and Conner) scoring goals," Turco said. "We need it. It's a big confidence booster."

However, blue-liner John-Michael Liles scored a power-play goal at 1:49 of the second and Brunette tallied for the fourth time in three contests with eight minutes left in the session to give the Avalanche a two-goal advantage.

After Lehtinen scored on a turnaround shot from low on the left side to pull Dallas within 4-3, Zubov beat Theodore high to the glove side with a wrister from the top of the right circle early in the third. With Wolski in the penalty box for tripping, Halpern netted the winning tally just 22 seconds into the power play.

"They got a couple of lucky bounces," Wolski said. "Zubov's goal was off a stick and got a lucky bounce. And my penalty, he steps on my stick and goes down, and they score on that. So I think it was just lucky bounces for them."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 2 1 2 5
    COLORADO 2 2 0 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) LOUI ERIKSSON 3 (MIKE MODANO, JEFF HALPERN) 5:27
    COL - WOJTEK WOLSKI 11 (KEN KLEE) 3:44
    COL - JOE SAKIC 16 (WOJTEK WOLSKI) 17:42
    DAL - CHRIS CONNER 1 (TREVOR DALEY, STU BARNES) 18:08
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) JOH

    Dec 27 11:26 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 5
    COLORADO 4
    3RD PRD: DAL - (PP) JEFF HALPERN 5 (JERE LEHTINEN, PHILIPPE BOUCHER)
    1:52

    Stars vs. AvalancheDec 27 10:58 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 4
    COLORADO 4
    3RD PRD: DAL - SERGEI ZUBOV 6 (MIKE RIBEIRO, JERE LEHTINEN) 0:36

    Stars vs. AvalancheDec 27 10:54 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 2 1 3
    COLORADO 2 2 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) LOUI ERIKSSON 3 (MIKE MODANO, JEFF HALPERN) 5:27
    COL - WOJTEK WOLSKI 11 (UNASSISTED) 3:44
    COL - JOE SAKIC 16 (WOJTEK WOLSKI, KEN KLEE) 17:42
    DAL - CHRIS CONNER 1 (TREVOR DALEY, STU BARNES) 18:0

    Dec 27 10:36 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 3
    COLORADO 4
    2ND PRD: DAL - (PP) JERE LEHTINEN 8 (JEFF HALPERN, SERGEI ZUBOV) 13:27

    Stars vs. AvalancheDec 27 10:24 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 2
    COLORADO 4
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) ANDREW BRUNETTE 12 (PAUL STASTNY, WOJTEK WOLSKI)
    12:00

    Stars vs. AvalancheDec 27 10:21 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 2
    COLORADO 3
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) JOHN-MICHAEL LILES 10 (PIERRE TURGEON, ANDREW
    BRUNETTE) 1:49

    Stars vs. AvalancheDec 27 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 2 2
    COLORADO 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) LOUI ERIKSSON 3 (MIKE MODANO, JEFF HALPERN) 5:27
    COL - WOJTEK WOLSKI 11 (UNASSISTED) 3:44
    COL - JOE SAKIC 16 (WOJTEK WOLSKI) 17:42
    DAL - CHRIS CONNER 1 (TREVOR DALEY, STU BARNES) 18:08
    SHOTS ON

    Dec 27 9:42 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 2
    COLORADO 2
    1ST PRD: DAL - CHRIS CONNER 1 (TREVOR DALEY, STU BARNES) 18:08

    Stars vs. AvalancheDec 27 9:41 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 1
    COLORADO 2
    1ST PRD: COL - JOE SAKIC 16 (WOJTEK WOLSKI) 17:42

    Stars vs. AvalancheDec 27 9:40 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 1
    COLORADO 1
    1ST PRD: COL - WOJTEK WOLSKI 11 (UNASSISTED) 3:44

    Stars vs. AvalancheDec 27 9:15 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 1
    COLORADO 0
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) LOUI ERIKSSON 3 (MIKE MODANO, JEFF HALPERN) 5:27

    Stars vs. AvalancheDec 27 9:14 PM
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    Stars vs. AvalancheDec 27 9:08 PM
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