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Roy's Avalanche extend hot start to 6-0

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Patrick Roy turned down a chance to coach the Colorado Avalanche in 2009 because he didn't feel he was ready for the job.

Four years later he is showing he's more than capable of leading an NHL team.

Matt Duchene scored two goals, Semyon Varlamov stopped 39 shots and the Avalanche continued their hot start with a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.

Jan Hejda also scored and P.A. Parenteau had two assists for the Avalanche, who are 6-0 for the first time in franchise history.

"If you told me back in June we'd be 6-0 you'd be crazy, especially with the teams we've played so far," Duchene said. "We haven't beaten any slouches. It's a good feeling. It's just a start; we've got to ride this wave."

Roy is the second coach to begin his career by winning his first six games. Mario Tremblay did it with Montreal in 1995-96, a team that Roy played for before being traded to the Avalanche later that season after Tremblay left Roy in goal during a lopsided loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

Roy requested a trade when he finally left the ice, and three days later he was shipped to Colorado.

Tremblay and Roy parted on bad terms. Now the two are linked in NHL history.

"I'm not really excited about that record, to be honest with you. I'm excited about looking at the way the team has been playing, how hard the team has been working," Roy said. "Tonight, there were some details of our game that I wasn't too happy and we're going to have to fix. The good thing is we can fix it by winning. It's a lot more fun than doing it losing."

Colorado, which has missed the playoffs three of the past four seasons, is one of two unbeaten teams left in the league. San Jose is also 6-0 after beating St. Louis on Tuesday.

Rich Peverley and Cody Eakin scored for Dallas, which has dropped two straight. Dan Ellis finished with 23 saves.

Tuesday was the first time this season the Avalanche allowed more than one goal, but they still prevailed.

Duchene got the game-winner late in the second period when he beat Ellis with a wrister during a delayed penalty to make it 3-2.

It was Duchene's 200th career point.

"We only had a couple of shifts where we got caught tired. We had them on the ropes a couple of times and didn't take advantage of it," Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. "They caught us in a long one. Duchene's a (very good) player and it ends up on his stick."

Earlier in the period, Eakin scored a power-play goal to tie it at 2-2. It was Eakin's first of the season.

The Stars pressed for the equalizer in the third period, outshooting the Avalanche 17-11 but couldn't get one past Varlamov. They pulled Ellis for an extra skater with 1:17 and nearly tied it when Varlamov stopped Alex Chiasson's shot at the doorstep just before the horn sounded.

"That was a scary moment for me because they almost scored," Varlamov said.

Varlamov has stopped 161 of the 167 shots he has faced this season.

"It was probably our best skating game, probably our best game on a chance sheet and Varlamov came up with a couple of beauties," Ruff said.

Despite the loss, the Stars found the kind of effort they've been searching for this season.

"That's what we want to be, a team that plays fast," left winger Jamie Benn said. "We controlled most of the game in the second and the third. It was all by playing in there end putting pucks on their net."

They took control early when Peverley scored 4:18 into the game. He got behind the Avalanche defense and beat Varlamov just under his glove.

The score stayed that way until midway through the frame when Sergei Gonchar tried to hit Chiasson with a pass in front of the Dallas net. The puck fluttered, and Duchene intercepted it and beat Ellis over the right shoulder to tie it with 8:17 left in the period.

"Nothing going on and we hand them the first goal and give them new life," Ruff said.

Hejda gave Colorado a 2-1 lead when he shot a puck through traffic and past Ellis with seven seconds left in the first.

NOTES: Dallas placed G Kari Lehtonen (lower body) on injured reserve, retroactive to Saturday. ... Peverley's goal was the first Colorado allowed in the first period this season. ... Stars LW Lane McDermid played in his first game of the season Tuesday night. ... The Avalanche were the last NHL team to allow a power-play goal this season. They killed off 12 power plays in the first five games and one more Tuesday before Eakin scored with one second left in Nathan MacKinnon's hooking penalty in the second period.
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