Eaves caps Stars’ 3-goal 1st period in win over Avs
DALLAS — Patrick Eaves capped Dallas’ three-goal first period and the Stars held off the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 Thursday night.
Johnny Oduya and Brett Ritchie also scored in the first for Dallas, and Kari Lehtonen finished with 34 saves.
Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist and Mikhail Grigorenko also scored for the Avalanche, who nearly rallied after trailing 3-0 after the first. Semyon Varlamov stopped 19 shots and snapped an 11-game winning streak against the Stars.
Lehtonen stopped MacKinnon on a breakaway midway through the second period and again on a rebound with 10 minutes left in the game.
Oduya scored his first goal since last Dec. 17 on a slap shot from the left point that went in off Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie’s left knee at 8:15.
Barely two minutes later, Ritchie scored from the slot on the power play after taking a pass from Devin Shore low in the left faceoff circle.
Eaves’ power-play goal from the right of the net followed rapid-fire passes from Jason Spezza behind the net and Tyler Seguin high in the slot.
The three first-period goals came on only six shots. Colorado also had six. The Avalanche’s best scoring chance came with 1:07 left when Jarome Iginla hooked the puck under Lehtonen, who fell on it before it crossed the goal line.
MacKinnon’s goal with 7:54 left in the second came after he took Andreas Martinsen’s pass from the right corner just to the right of the net and beat Lehtonen. Two minutes earlier, Lehtonen had stopped MacKinnon on a breakaway at the end of another Dallas power play.
The Avalanche pulled within a goal at 1:51 of the third when Grigorenko redirected MacKinnon’s shot from the right point into the right side of the net.
NOTES: Dallas C Cody Eakin made his season debut after a preseason knee injury sidelined him almost 2 months. He won 11 of 15 faceoffs in the first two periods. … Colorado scoring leader C Matt Duchene missed his third game because of concussion-like symptoms. LW Gabriel Landeskog, the Avalanche captain, also sat out with a lower-body injury. … LW AJ Greer was recalled for his second NHL game, and scored his first point by assisting on Grigorenko’s goal. … Eaves leads the Stars with eight goals. His 14 points in 17 games represent the best start in his 12 NHL seasons. … Colorado had 12 wins in the previous 15 games vs. the Stars. … Oduya’s goal ended a personal 67-game drought.
Avalanche: At Minnesota on Saturday for the second game on a three-game trip.
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