Stars slip past Avalanche
DALLAS (AP) — Colton Sceviour has started to adjust to the speed of the NHL game.
He scored his first game-winning goal at 17:08 of the third period and the Dallas Stars edged the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Tuesday night.
A rebound of a Colorado shot bounced out to Rich Peverley, who put a pass on Sceviour’s stick for a breakaway against Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who made 25 saves.
But there was no save against Sceviour.
“The first game seemed a little bit faster,” he said. “There was an adjustment period.
“(Peverley) caught up to (the puck) and made a great pass. I was able to pick it up in stride and put it in.
“Any time you score a game-winning goal it’s pretty exciting, especially at the NHL level. And late in the third.”
Sceviour had played just two NHL games before being recalled Saturday from the Texas Stars, for whom he was leading the American Hockey League with 18 goals.
He scored his first NHL goal that night at Winnipeg, and his second in three games Tuesday.
Ray Whitney scored Dallas’ first two goals, which both erased one-goal deficits. They were his first goals in 13 games, since Nov. 3. The goal that night also broke a 13-game scoreless streak.
“It’s always nice to score, especially when you’ve been dry for a while. I hope we’re going to break that spell. We don’t need to go through that again.”
Dallas’ victory followed a 6-2 loss on Monday against the Avalanche on the road. And it was with backup Dan Ellis in goal.
“I thought we did an excellent job,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of the team’s turnaround. “With regards to Colorado, we didn’t give them free ice the way we did (Monday) night.
“We had the (penalty) kills early, and the second period was rock solid except the one we let in.”
Both Colorado goals, Matt Duchene’s on a power play in the first period and Erik Johnson’s slap shot in the second, came while a Dallas player was serving a double minor penalty.
Whitney’s second goal, which tied the game in the second period, was the Stars’ second in 49 power plays at home this season and their first since Nov. 21.
In the third period, Ellis made a glove save on Gabriel Landeskog from close range on a power play, and prevented Colorado from scoring with an extra skater for more than a minute at game’s end.
“Their goalie made some great saves,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. “Landy’s shot, it was a great save by him at the end. We were buzzing as well and we had some chances.”
Ellis noticed something about the Avs before the game.
“I had seen a little bit of their power play with him practicing that in the pre-game skate, so I knew he had a good one-timer,” he said. “That’s what I was expecting.”
And at the end, “It’s tough to find the puck. I want to make myself as big as possible. It’s a battle for sight lines.”
Dallas had two chances to score into an empty net, but shot wide both times.
Whitney said Ellis’ late saves were key.
“The mad scramble around our net, that’s where Dan was exceptional,” he said. “That would have been really crushing if they would have come down and scored after we hit the posts.”
Duchene put in a rebound of Johnson’s shot for a power-play goal just 2:37 into the game.
Johnson’s goal at 10:20 of the second period came when the teams were skating 4 on 4, with the Stars’ Antoine Roussel off for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Avalanche had failed to score on all five power plays in Monday’s 6-2 home victory over the Stars. Colorado was successful on 1 of 6 man advantages Tuesday.
Dallas tied the score 1-1 at 7:31. Out of a scramble in front of the Avalanche goal the puck went to Whitney, and he knocked it past Giguere.
The Avalanche put just two shots on goal in the second, but one was Johnson’s slap shot from the right faceoff circle that restored Colorado’s one-goal lead.
Whitney’s second-period goal that tied the game 2-2 was Dallas’ second power-play goal at home in 49 opportunities this season.
Dallas’ previous goal with a man advantage at home was by Stephane Robidas Nov. 21 in a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers.
Giguere saved 13 Stars shots in the period, but Whitney tied the score 2-2 at 17:19 with his second goal of the game and third this season. Alex Chiasson passed from behind the goal line to Whitney, who one-timed a shot from the right circle.
The Stars had a 5-on-3 power play for 45 seconds early in the third period, but failed to score. Whitney had a chance for a third goal, but whiffed on a shot from left of the goal.
NOTES: Dallas placed forward Vernon Fiddler on injured reserve, retroactive to Dec. 7, when he suffered an upper-body injury. Defenseman Aaron Rome did not play after sustaining an apparent leg injury Monday. Defenseman Cameron Gaunce, whose 11 previous NHL games all had been with Colorado, was recalled from Texas of the American Hockey League to fill Fiddler’s roster spot. Gaunce played nearly 13 minutes and was credited with 2 of Dallas’ 27 hits. … Avalanche forward Alex Tanguay (hip and knee injuries) and defenseman Ryan Wilson (back) remained out.