Play on the second night of back-to-backs, the worst home power play in the league and a 41 year-old Ray Whitney were all in need of some level of repair, and all had slump-busting nights as the Stars out-shot the Avs 28-27 while getting not one, but two tallies from their elder statesman in the win.
Colton Sceviour was the hero in the third period after a big penalty kill, taking a Rich Peverley pass in all alone on G.S. Giguere and slipping in five-hole for the game winner.
The victory washes away, in part, the awful taste of the 6-2 drubbing in Colorado less than 24 hours prior, and puts the Stars back at eight points behind the Avs, right where they were when the home-and-home began. So there's lost opportunity there, certainly, but after last night the victory stands as most welcome.
Dan Ellis gets his third straight win and now has recorded four of the Stars' six home wins on the season. The win puts the Stars back in 10th place in the conference, four points behind the sliding 9th place Phoenix Coyotes.
History was doomed to repeat itself, evidently, as the Stars began by not possessing the puck and taking penalties in the offensive zone- leading to the eventual Colorado goal and the media trotting out the "18-0-1" when scoring first stat.
The lopsided possession would continue until something that has most decidedly not happened in recent history, Ray Whitney scoring a goal, would knot things up, as last night, at one goal per side.
Notable occurrence: Alex Chiasson engaged in fisticuffs and found out how much it hurts to punch someone right in the visor. The league's plan to decrease player safety to knuckles is working perfectly.
Not so notable occurrence: The Stars failed to score on the power play at home.
Colorado out-attempted the Stars 19-16 in the frame.
Dallas pushed back nicely, going on a 7-0 run on shots on goal before taking penalty minutes seven, eight, nine and ten in the offensive zone on the night in just 27 minutes of play when Antoine Roussel (always Garbutt and Roussel) took a roughing call below the Colorado goal line, and an unsportsmanlike conduct to boot.
The ensuing four-minute power play for the Avalanche was, seemingly fortuitously, broken up by an interference call on Tyson Barrie. The resulting four-on-four, however, opened up enough ice for Matt Duchene to make an incredible move in the slot before finding Erik Johnson, who beat Dan Ellis to restore the lead.
The second period meltdown could have easily taken place then. The Stars had done good work, weren't rewarded, and suddenly trailed, but the script diverged from Monday when Ray Whitney, getting health in a big way, solved the mystery of the Stars home power play to knot things at two.
Dallas out-shot Colorado... quadruple checking this... 14-2 in the second period, though possession didn't look that uneven to the eyeballs.
The Avs equaled their second period shot attempts in just seconds in the third period, but put the Stars on a 5-on-3 of their own for a change when Tyson Barrie and Andrea Benoit went off for tripping and delay-of-game.
Ray Whitney was set up perfectly to complete the hat trick and be the hero but just miss-fired.
Miss-firing was what the Avalanche continued to do as Matt Duchene created for his teammates and key scoring chances ended up in the high glass behind Dan Ellis.
Alex Goligoski left for the locker room and the world started to end a little bit, but it was just a skate repair.
Dan Ellis robbed Gabriel Landeskog on an Avalanche power play and Cody Eakin made a fantastic clear after yet another penalty taken in the offensive zone, this time by Shawn Horcoff, and the Stars survived. Barely.
Rich Peverley and Colton Sceviour then played give-and-go in the neutral zone with the speedy Sceviour breaking away and beating G.S. Giguere between the wickets for the eventual game-winner, though the conclusion wasn't without it's drama.
Jamie Benn was staring a 100% sure thing in the face when (Avalanche player) knocked his shot out of mid-air and into the cross-bar, giving the Avs 60 more seconds of life that they used to great effect, peppering Dan Ellis with dangerous opportunities as time expired and the building exhaled.
- Colton Sceviour's goal was left off the NHL Network highlights in Winnipeg. This one won't be. Give the lad some attention!
- Colton Sceviour is an interesting topic of conversation. They can't scratch him. Not now. And Fiddler is close. You can make a case for... Ryan Garbutt, in this reporter's opinion, as the scratch later in the week if Fiddler's able to go. Garbutt had a nice run but is now taking penalties and playing, perhaps, just a bit recklessly. He's a good, useful piece and they'll need him, but maybe right now he's the most obvious option to take a seat.
- Dan Ellis continues to rack up these wins at home, but Kari Lehtonen has not been successful as of late- Though it's often times not his fault. If the Stars can get both of their netminders rolling a little bit they could make some progress in the standings.
- It never ceases to amaze me, and this is sports in a nutshell I guess, how the exact same group of 38 guys can take the ice two nights in a row and one night one team A gets 50 shots on goal and the next night team A, against the same foes, gets half as many. HALF.
- Alex Chiasson had two assists and a fight- A nice night to maybe get him going a little bit along with Ray Whitney moving forward.
- Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Where were they? They were chasing around Matt Duchene, who came to their building, matched up head-to-head and was the alpha male. I do not like those eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
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