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Avalanche edge Stars behind Stastny's hat trick

Oct 4, 2007 - 6:59 AM
By Dave Reed PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DENVER (Ticker) -- After an impressive rookie season, Paul Stastny is off to a great start in his sophomore campaign.

Stastny recorded his first career hat trick and Peter Budaj stopped 31 shots to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars in the season opener for both teams on Wednesday night at Pepsi Center.

The runner-up to Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin for the Calder Trophy in 2006-07, Stastny opened the scoring with 1:49 remaining in the first period. After taking a long outlet pass from Andrew Brunette in the neutral zone, the 21-year-old used defenseman Sergei Zubov as a screen before unleashing a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that went over goaltender Marty Turco's left shoulder.

Stastny made it 2-0 just 63 seconds into the middle session, when he took a backhand pass from behind the net by Brunette and slipped the puck between Turco and the right goalpost.

"We all see the game in similar ways," Brunette said, regarding the chemistry of his line. "It's a give-and-go game, and our transition has been pretty good. I played with Paul quite a bit last year on the power play. He's such a smart hockey player, and Jaro (Jaroslav Hlinka) comes in and plays a very similar style. He's a very heady player. If he gets some open ice, he can make some great plays."

Stastny's third goal came at 11:15 of the second period off a perfect feed from Hlinka, who had received the puck just above the right circle from Brunette. The 30-year-old Czech then sent it to Stastny, who completed the hat trick to give Colorado a 3-1 bulge.

With the tally, Stastny became just the fourth player in franchise history - and first since Dale Hunter on October 4, 1983 - to record a hat trick on opening night. His father, Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, also accomplished the feat.

"I think any time you win the opener, get three goals, I can't complain," Paul Stastny said. "Today, I was a little lucky, and it helped out because we needed all the goals. So it's good to get the win."

Wojtek Wolski scored Colorado's final goal with 3:05 left in the second, when he skated around Zubov at the top of the slot and beat Turco to the stick side with a wrister from the left circle.

The tally proved to be the winner, as Jussi Jokinen and Niklas Hagman scored power-play goals in the third period to draw the Stars within 4-3.

"We'll take the win," Paul Stastny said. "Last year, we blew a two-goal lead and started the season a little behind. It doesn't matter who scores, anyone on this team can chip in."

Jokinen jammed his own rebound past Budaj at the right goalpost at 7:38, and Hagman was credited with a tally after the puck caromed off the skate of defenseman Brett Clark in the crease and past the netminder on an attempted pass with 2:50 remaining.

Jeff Halpern got Dallas on the scoreboard at 7:10 of the second period, when he tipped defenseman Trevor Daley's slap shot from the right point past Budaj.

But the Avalanche withstood a late charge and held on to top the Stars after losing all four meetings last season.

"We learned from our mistakes last year," Budaj said. "Tonight, we almost blew the lead, but thank God we didn't. I had a couple of bad bounces. I need to be stronger on the post. Unfortunately, two were deflected, and those were power-play goals."

Dallas captain Brenden Morrow was helped off the ice with just under a minute remaining in the first period with a facial injury. After losing an edge on his skate while pursuing a loose puck in the corner, he fell to the ice and was hit in the face by the skate of Clark.

Morrow returned midway through the second period wearing a shield.

Brunette collected three assists and Hlinka recorded a pair in his NHL debut for Colorado, which raised its franchise mark in season openers to 16-5-7 - tops in the league.

Turco finished with 19 saves for the Stars, who had their 10-game unbeaten streak in openers snapped.

Dallas coach Dave Tippett was critical of his team's performance, particularly the one by Turco.

"We're going to need better goaltending than that," he said. "To win in this league, you have to commit to winning the 1-on-1 battles and creating space for yourself by skating. We didn't have enough players doing that."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 0 1 2 3
    COLORADO 1 3 0 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 1 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, BRETT CLARK) 18:11
    2ND PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 2 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, JAROSLAV HLINKA) 1:03
    DAL - JEFF HALPERN 1 (TREVOR DALEY, LOUI ERIKSSON) 7:10
    COL - PAUL STASTNY 3 (JAROSLAV HL

    Oct 4 12:00 AM
  • 25
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Stars vs. AvalancheOct 3 11:53 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 3
    COLORADO 4
    3RD PRD: DAL - (PP) NIKLAS HAGMAN 1 (PHILIPPE BOUCHER, JERE LEHTINEN)
    17:10

    Stars vs. AvalancheOct 3 11:52 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 2
    COLORADO 4
    3RD PRD: DAL - (PP) JUSSI JOKINEN 1 (NIKLAS HAGMAN, SERGEI ZUBOV) 7:38

    Stars vs. AvalancheOct 3 11:36 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 0 1 1
    COLORADO 1 3 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 1 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, BRETT CLARK) 18:11
    2ND PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 2 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, JAROSLAV HLINKA) 1:03
    DAL - JEFF HALPERN 1 (TREVOR DALEY, LOUI ERIKSSON) 7:10
    COL - PAUL STASTNY 3

    Oct 3 11:07 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 1
    COLORADO 4
    2ND PRD: COL - WOJTEK WOLSKI 1 (IAN LAPERRIERE, TYLER ARNASON) 16:55

    Stars vs. AvalancheOct 3 11:04 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 1
    COLORADO 3
    2ND PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 3 (JAROSLAV HLINKA, ANDREW BRUNETTE) 11:15

    Stars vs. AvalancheOct 3 10:52 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 1
    COLORADO 2
    2ND PRD: DAL - JEFF HALPERN 1 (TREVOR DALEY, LOUI ERIKSSON) 7:10

    Stars vs. AvalancheOct 3 10:43 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 0
    COLORADO 2
    2ND PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 2 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, JAROSLAV HLINKA) 1:03

    Stars vs. AvalancheOct 3 10:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 0 0
    COLORADO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 1 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, BRETT CLARK) 18:11
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DAL 11 11
    COL 11 11
    GOALIES: DAL - MARTY TURCO
    COL

    Oct 3 10:12 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 0
    COLORADO 1
    1ST PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 1 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, BRETT CLARK) 18:11

    Stars vs. AvalancheOct 3 10:11 PM
  • 10
    roots
    jemurray Added 5 roots

    Stars vs. AvalancheOct 3 8:08 PM
  • 5
    roots
    anorexicivan Added 5 roots

    Stars vs. AvalancheOct 2 9:11 PM