Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Avs stay focused in 3-2 OT win

The SportsXchange

DALLAS -- If the Colorado Avalanche were distracted by the arrest of starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov earlier in the week, it didn't show on Friday night.

The Avalanche got two goals from Paul Stastny, including the winner with 1:24 remaining in overtime, in a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

"The guys wanted to do well for (Varlamov). They wanted to play a strong game in front of him and I thought that was a great game from our team," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "We showed that we're a family and we stick together and we work hard together."

Varlamov, who was arrested on domestic-violence charges on Wednesday, had 27 saves.

"I think I am the luckiest guy in the world because I play in the NHL and I play for this team. I've got such good teammates, so I don't think about what's happening," Varlamov said.

Stastny opened the scoring for the Avalanche at 8:22 of the first period and he ended the game with a 24-foot snap that got the better of Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen to clinch the overtime victory.

"I tried to shoot through the D," Stastny said. "You don't score on these goalies unless you're flying, you make a perfect shot or you use a screen. That's what I tried to do, use a screen. You get it off and it's going to be tough for the goalie whether it's seven-hole or glove side."

Dallas was able to kill two Colorado power plays early, including a five-on-three that lasted for nearly a minute in the first period. However, the Avalanche broke through at 8:22 of the first when Stastny flipped in a wrister from the right of the Dallas goal.

Stastny had started the sequence by sending the puck around the boards behind the home goal. After Jan Hejda collected it, he passed it to Alex Tanguay, who spotted Stastny open on the right side and he quickly finished for his third goal of the season.

The Stars controlled possession for most of the second period, but Colorado made it 2-0 when Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog beat Lehtonen on his glove side just 1:19 before the second intermission.

Dallas didn't quit and 3:57 into the third, Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski scorched a one-timer that beat Varlamov top shelf to make it 2-1. Tyler Seguin picked up the primary assist by feeding Goligoski, who unloaded from just inside the left faceoff circle for his second of the season.

Despite the overtime loss, Stars coach Lindy Ruff was relatively happy with the point his club received.

"It is a big point. We can talk about all the negative stuff in the first, but you can talk about all the work we put in to get back in the game in the second and the third," he said. "If you would have asked me after the second period if you'd be happy with a point, I would say if we could battle back and get a point, it would be a big point for our club. It's a small step in the right direction."

Colorado nearly went ahead 3-1 just 37 seconds later when John Mitchell tried to slip one inside the near post. However, Lehtonen delivered a huge save, stopping Mitchell's shot first with his glove and then by whipping around his left pad. After a rather lengthy review, Mitchell's shot was called no goal.

However, Dallas did net the equalizer with 3:29 left in regulation when Seguin flicked a 30-foot wrister to Varlamov's left to make it 3-3.

Two seconds after the Seguin goal, Landeskog and Dallas' Alex Chiasson dropped the gloves near center ice -- Landeskog being assessed a minor penalty for roughing the Stars went on a power play with 3:27 left in regulation.

Dallas captain Jamie Benn tried to give the Stars their first lead of the night with 2:27 remaining but Varlamov denied him with a glove save at the far post to preserve the tie. Varlamov also denied close-range chances by Dallas' Shawn Horcoff and Antoine Roussel late in regulation.

Maxime Talbot, who debuted for Colorado after being traded from Philadelphia earlier in the week, liked what he saw in his first game with his new club.

"It was fun. It was exciting. I like the atmosphere where even though they came back 2-2 in the third, bench was just even keel. We just didn't panic and went for it," Talbot said. "That's the feeling of a winning team, a team that's confident, a team that plays with a little bit of a spark and it was a good feeling."

Lehtonen stopped 26 of 29 shots.

His strong showing did not escape Roy.

"Lehtonen was outstanding," Roy said. "He might want to give the second goal back, but I think the reason why they picked up a point is because of him. He kept them in the game long enough for them to come back in the third because it could have been a three, four, 5-0 game at some point."

NOTES: Scratches for Colorado were D Tyson Barrie, LW Jamie McGinn and LW Cody McLeod. ... Dallas scratches were D Kevin Connauton and C Ryan Garbutt. McLeod and Garbutt are both serving the final games of five-game suspensions. ... Talbot skated on the Avalanche's third line alongside John Mitchell and Nathan Mackinnon. ... Ruff made one minor tweak to his lineup, moving C Shawn Horcoff from the middle to the right side on his third line. C Rich Peverley, who had previously been skating on the right side, took Horcoff's place in the middle. Lehtonen made his fifth straight start in the net for Dallas since returning from a lower-body injury on Oct. 24 against Calgary. ... Announced attendance was 15,223.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (1)