DENVER (AP) — Matt Duchene scored twice and Semyon Varlamov stopped 39 shots, helping the Colorado Avalanche hold off the Dallas Stars 3-2 Tuesday night to improve to 6-0 in Patrick Roy’s first season on the bench.
Jan Hejda also scored as the Avs moved within a win of tying the franchise’s best start. The organization was 7-0 in 1985-86 as the Quebec Nordiques.
By winning six straight, Roy ties the NHL record for victories to start a coaching career. He shares the mark with Mario Tremblay, who won his first six games with Montreal in 1995-96, a team Roy played for before being traded to the Avalanche later that season.
Rich Peverley and Cody Eakin had goals for the Stars, who outshot the Avs 41-26 in dropping their second straight game on the road. Dallas pulled Dan Ellis with more than a minute remaining, but couldn’t score the equalizer on Varlamov, who turned back Alex Chiasson’s final shot with 1 second remaining.
Varlamov came up big all third period, including a point-blank stop of Tyler Seguin.
Duchene earned the 200th point of his NHL career with the winning goal 14:18 into the second period. With Varlamov on the bench for an extra skater following a delayed penalty against Dallas, Duchene flew into the zone and beat Ellis with a shot just inside the top of the net.
That goal came 3:20 after Eakin tied the game with a power-play goal, the first the Avs have allowed this season.
Hejda gave the Avs a 2-1 lead with 7 seconds left in the opening period when the defenseman took a shot from near the blue line and it deflected through the legs of Ellis.
A few minutes earlier, Duchene intercepted an errant pass down low and beat Ellis with a shot over the goalie’s right shoulder.
Dallas also capitalized on a turnover for its first goal, when Gabriel Landeskog lost the puck while making a move toward the net. Seguin quickly corralled it and sent a perfect pass ahead to Peverley, who beat Varlamov with a low liner 4:18 into the game. It was the first goal Colorado has allowed in the first period all season.
Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere have been difficult to beat this season in net. The duo earned the NHL’s second star of the week after combining for three wins.
Energized by the excitable Roy, the Avalanche have been playing with plenty of confidence this season. He’s given them a simple message — play with passion — and they’ve run with it. Colorado is coming off an East Coast trip in which it went 3-0.
Landeskog said of Roy: “You can tell he’s been a player, because he yells the same stuff we’re yelling to each other. … The passion and how calm he is, both on the bench and here, in meetings — he spreads that calm.”
Roy, calm? He nearly knocked over a glass partition when he was screaming at Anaheim’s Bruce Boudreau after a 6-1 win to open his Colorado coaching career.
“He might raise his voice, but he’s still calm,” Landeskog said, smiling.
NOTES: The Stars placed G Kari Lehtonen on injured reserve, retroactive to Friday. … Varlamov and Stars F Shawn Horcoff each drew slashing calls late in the second period after scuffling in front of the net. … Avs D Tyson Barrie was among the scratches for Colorado. Asked what Barrie needs to do to get back in the lineup, Roy said: “He just needs to be patient.” … The two goals are the most Colorado has allowed this season.