Avalanche 6, Stars 2

Michael Kelly, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


DENVER -- Center Paul Stastny had two goals and an assist as part of a four-goal second period by Colorado, and the Avalanche beat the Dallas Stars 6-2 Monday night.
Stastny finished with a season-high four points.
Defensemen Andre Benoit and Erik Johnson also scored in the second, and center Nathan MacKinnon and defenseman Tyson Barrie added goals for the Avalanche, who are 3-0 against the Stars this season.
The teams play again Tuesday in Dallas.
Center Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist, and defenseman Ken Connauton also scored for the Stars, who lost for the third time in four games.
Stastny makes a habit of scoring against Dallas. He had two goals against the Stars on Nov. 1, and his only hat trick came against them on Oct. 3, 2007.
He continued that success Monday. His first goal, 8:29 into the second, broke a 1-1 tie. Benoit made it 3-1 with his second goal of the season at 13:42, and Stastny followed with his 10th just 2:50 later to make it 4-1.
Johnson finished off the period by scoring on a slap shot with three seconds left to give Colorado a 5-1 lead heading into intermission.
Seguin's 18th goal 3:26 into the third made it 5-2, but Barrie answered later in the period on Stastny's second assist and fourth point of the night.
Colorado outshot the Stars 48-33.
The Avalanche scored first when MacKinnon beat goaltender Kari Lehtonen with a wrist shot from the left circle at 10:38 of the first period.
Lehtonen allowed a season-high in goals while stopping 42 shots.
Colorado was poised to build on the lead with a two-man advantage for 1:39. The Avalanche kept the puck in Dallas' zone for most of the time but managed just three shots. Moments after the first penalty expired, center Matt Duchene was called for hooking.
Dallas took advantage of the 4-on-4 when Connauton redirected Seguin's cross-ice pass by Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov with 33 seconds left in the period.
It was Connauton's first NHL goal.
Lehtonen stopped 42 shots. Varlamov finished with 31 saves.
NOTES: Avalanche D Ryan Wilson was expected to return to the lineup after missing 17 games with a back injury but was scratched. Wilson was hurt Nov. 6 against Nashville. He also missed most of training camp and the first four games of the season. ... Dallas RW Alex Chiasson began the night sixth in rookie scoring with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists), and fellow RW Valeri Nichushkin was seventh with 16 points (5-11). ... Colorado does not have a power-play goal in its past 11 games (0-for-31) after going 0-for-5 Monday. ... The Stars fell to 8-3-1 in their past 12 road games. ... Avalanche D Cory Sarich assisted on the first goal to extend his points streak to four games.