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They’re Going Streaking: Stars Defeat Avalanche For Their Third Win in a Row

Thank you, Joe Pavelski.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off their (American) Thanksgiving break, the Dallas Stars were home in the American Airlines Center to take on division rival Colorado Avalanche tonight. After a shaky start to the season, the Stars have won four of their last five games.

The Avalanche have been having a better season than the Stars in the early going, with 21 points at the start of tonight’s game, sitting in the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. They began the evening on a five-game win streak.

First Period

The Stars came out of the gate hot, driving most of the play in the first period. But no single 19 second span of game was better in the first than the 19 second span in which Joe Pavelski scored his 399th and 400th career goals.

A little over a minute into the game, Pavelski shook off Jack Johnson, his defender, behind the Avalanche net in time to pop out and accept a pass from Jason Robertson, who threw the puck around traffic.

Nineteen seconds later, the Avalanche turned over the puck in their zone and Pavelski used Erik Johnson as a screen.

This made 400 goals for Joe Pavelski in his career, only the 10th American-born player to reach the milestone.

The line of Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Pavelski continued to wipe the floor with the Avalanche in terms of possession throughout the period, but though Hintz had a few close calls, they didn’t score any more after the opening two minutes.

Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn respectively both were called for holding penalties. Both protested on their way to the bench, and the fans vehemently disagreed with the referee’s call on Benn in particular, but Stars held the Avalanche to zero shots on goal on both penalties.

The Stars dominated a late scramble in front of the Avalanche net in hopes of another goal before heading into the first intermission, but Darcy Kuemper was able to get enough body parts in the way that the late surge ended up unsuccessful.

Shots: Stars 12, Avalanche 4
Goals: Stars 2, Avalanche 0

Second Period

The Stars remained determined to get Pavelski another goal in pursuit of his hat trick, and he got awfully close in the first few minutes of the second period.

The Avalanche took a bench minor for too many men. With the man advantage, the Stars managed five shots (five more than the Avalanche had with twice as much time) but no goals.

Four minutes later, Tyler Seguin, replacing Michael Raffl on the line with Jamie Benn and Denis Gurianov, drew a penalty behind the net from Mikko Rantanen, but the second power play didn’t go as well as the first and the Stars only managed one shot on goal.

A little over the twelve minute mark, Jake Oettinger went down in distress after taking contact from Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Primary contact appeared to be his Oettinger’s head and Aube-Kubel went to the box for interference. Oettinger skated on his own to the bench during the tv timeout and also came back to the net, but was eventually pulled and Braden Holtby replaced him for the remainder of the period.

On the ensuing power play, Heiskanen took a shot on goal off a pass from the top of the zone by Ryan Suter. Though Kuemper blocked the initial shot, he failed to control the rebound and Gurianov got there first.

With under a minute to go in the second, the referees called a slashing penalty on Heiskanen, but it was eventually determined that Erik Johnson broke his own stick along the boards and the call was rescinded.

Shots: Stars 21, Avalanche 17
Goals: Stars 3, Avalanche 0

Third Period

Oettinger was back in net to begin the third period. Even though he’d been working on a shutout at the time of his exit, he won’t be able to take credit for one as Holtby came in for relief. They are the first to share credit for a Stars shutout since Bishop and Khudobin in December 2018 though.

Oettinger had three big saves on Gabriel Landeskog almost midway through the third, clearly still on top of his game.

Eight minutes into the third period, the Stars have yet to get a shot on goal. All momentum has been going the Avalanche way.

The referees blew a tripping call on Roope Hintz with nine minutes left to go in the third period. The call was incredibly unpopular in the arena, and the replay seemed to show that it was just a regular hit that knocked Logan O’Connor down.

Colorado pulled Kuemper with over four minutes to go in the game and with the extra attacker managed to ruin the discussion on whether or not Oettinger could call it a shutout. Cale Makar scored on a wrist shot from above the dot. Oettinger has been solid through the third period but couldn’t track the puck through the screen.

The Avalanche had a few more good looks through the dying minutes of the game but Oettinger held the score to 3-1. The Stars were kept to only one shot on goal in the third.

Shots: Stars 22, Avalanche 37
Goals: Stars 3, Avalanche 1

Final thoughts:

  • Turtling in the third is a really boring way to win a hockey game. Also, not 100% effective. It’s great that they won, but that third period could have been embarrassing for the Stars, something they’ve seen in the past.
  • The Stars broke the Avalanche’s win streak but let Makar continue his point streak.

The Stars will be on the road tomorrow for a 7 pm CST puck drop against the Arizona Coyotes.