Avalanche rally, take care of Stars in shootout on O’Reilly’s tally
Ryan O’Reilly heeded Colorado Avalanche teammate Matt Duchene’s words before their shootout Friday night.
"It’s been a while since I’ve scored in that," O’Reilly said. "(Duchene) gave me a little advice on what to do. It was a great call by him. I just went down, and luckily for me it went in."
O’Reilly, the first to shoot in the shootout, lifted the puck over Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen, off the crossbar and into the net. When no one else scored, Colorado had a 5-4 victory.
Semyon Varlamov stopped all three Stars shots in the shootout.
The teams began the night tied for sixth place in the Central Division with 63 points each, but out of playoff position. Colorado won all five games between the teams.
Nate Guenin had a career-high three points with a goal and two assists for the Avalanche. They rallied from deficits of 3-1 and 4-3 in the third period.
Cody Eakin had two goals and an assist, but the Stars lost their fifth straight game (0-3-2) They also were 0-3-2 against Colorado this season.
For Colorado, Tyson Barrie also had a goal and two assists. Gabriel Landeskog had one of each, Matt Duchene assisted twice and Jarome Iginla scored a goal.
It was Eakin’s second two-goal game this season. Jason Spezza and Antoine Roussel also scored for Dallas.
Dallas outshot the Avalanche 36-23. Varlamov made 32 saves; Lehtonen had 19.
After two periods, the Stars led 2-1 and had a 24-7 advantage in shots.
"We were certainly not happy after 40 minutes of play," Colorado coach Patrick Roy, "but we played really well in the third period. That’s the type of hockey we’re capable (of playing)."
Stars coach Lindy Ruff took an opposite tack.
"The goaltending performance doesn’t match the effort of the team. It’s as simple as that," Ruff said. "It might be harsh from me, but you’re only giving up seven shots after 30 minutes, and your team hasn’t given up any chances, and the first shot goes in and it’s not a goal you like."
Guenin said, "In between periods, we had a little talk. One thing with our team — we don’t quit. And Varly kept us in that game and we kept battling back."
The comeback began when Iginla tipped in Guenin’s shot at 5:43 of the third. Just 1:15 later, Guenin took a cross-ice pass from Landeskog and put the puck between Lehtonen’s pads and the left goalpost. A video replay showed that the puck had trickled over the goal line.
In 155 prior NHL games, Guenin had more than one point only on March 31, 2007. He scored his second goal this season and fifth of his career.
Eakin scored 2:45 into the second period on a slap shot after taking a pass from Ryan Garbutt above the right faceoff circle.
Duchene dropped a pass to Barrie at the top of the right circle, and he shot past Lehtonen to tie it. The 1-1 score lasted just 29 seconds until Spezza put in the rebound of Erik Cole’s short shot.
Eakin’s goal at 3:05 of the third increased the lead to 3-1 before Iginla and Guenin scored.
Roussel’s goal gave Dallas the lead again, but Landeskog tipped in Barrie’s shot with 6:43 to play in regulation.
NOTES: Guenin’s career scoring totals: five goals, 20 assists, 25 points. … The Avalanche are 8-4 in shootouts, Dallas 2-3. … Duchene’s assists gave him seven points (two goals, five assists) in the five games against Dallas this season and 26 points (10, 16) in 24 career games vs. the Stars. … Spezza has 23 points (8, 15) in his last 20 games and eight points (4, 4) in the seven games since teammate Tyler Seguin was injured. The Stars are 1-4-2 in those games. … Dallas captain Jamie Benn’s eight-game point streak ended.