DALLAS -- For a team that has had its share of struggles at home this season, the Dallas Stars might have delivered their most complete performance of the season in dispatching the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 before 17,311 fans at American Airlines Center.
Derek Roy, Jordie Benn, Eric Nystrom, Cody Eakin and Jaromir Jagr all scored for Dallas, which also got a 33-save performance from Kari Lehtonen. Jamie Benn finished with three assists and Dallas also got two-point performances from Jagr, Nystrom and Roy in the victory.
Just 34 seconds into the game, Roy gave the Stars an early lead, beating Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov top shelf with a 36-foot wrister from near the edge of the left faceoff circle. Roy gained possession of the puck by intercepting a wayward pass from the Avalanche's David Jones in front of the Dallas goal.
Roy then drove up the ice, laying the puck off to Loui Eriksson, who then slipped it back to Roy in time for him to light the lamp for his fourth goal of the year.
The Avalanche had a solid chance at drawing the game level at 1:52 when Ryan O'Reilly looked to connect on a 58-foot slapshot from near the Dallas blue line. However, Lehtonen denied him with a stellar glove save at the near post.
After Colorado's Cody McLeod put Dallas on the power play for the first time at 9:06 of the opening period for tripping Stars captain Brenden Morrow, Dallas doubled its lead just 51 seconds later when Benn scored his first career goal at 9:57 off a rebound.
Roy took the initial shot from the left side, a blast which Varlamov made a pad save on. Benn, the older brother of Stars All-Star center Jamie Benn, arrived to pounce on the rebound at the same time as teammate Erik Cole and lifted the puck into the right side of the Colorado net with a well-placed backhand nine feet out. Roy and Dallas defenseman Alex Goligoski, who leads the Stars with 16 assists, were credited with helpers on the goal that made it 2-0.
With 4:24 remaining in the first period, Roy bore the full brunt of a shot by Colorado's John Mitchell in his leg and had to leave the ice. However, Roy did return to start the second period, apparently with no ill effects from the shot.
Colorado looked like it had made it a 2-1 game with 3:08 remaining before the opening intermission when P.A. Parenteau beat Lehtonen to his left with a long-range shot from the left side. Parenteau got the puck after teammate Matt Duchene won a draw with Dallas' Cody Eakin in the left faceoff circle. However, the goal was nullified after Jones was deemed to have interfered with Lehtonen, falling into the Dallas netminder and preventing him from using his stick on Parenteau's blast.
However, Dallas continued its strong offensive performance into the second period, going ahead 3-0 just 58 seconds into the frame when Nystrom tapped in a rebound for his fourth goal of the season. The Stars then made it a 4-0 game at 4:37 when Eakin flipped a 15-foot wrister from the slot to Varlamov's right, which ended his night prematurely. Jean-Sebastien Giguere then entered the game for Colorado. Dallas forward Jagr was credited with the secondary assist on Nystrom's goal, giving him 999 assists in his legendary career.
After Dallas rookie defenseman Brenden Dillon was whistled for holding the stick with 1:55 left before the second intermission, the Avalanche broke through when Parenteau blasted a 33-foot slap shot into an empty net. Lehtonen had been pulled over to the far post after O'Reilly took a shot from distance and the Dallas netminder wasn't able to make a play on Parenteau's shot, which made it 4-1. It was the first goal allowed by Lehtonen in 102:35.
Colorado made it a 4-2 contest just 1:37 into the final period when Paul Statsny slipped a wrister past Lehtonen on the short side for his eighth goal of the season. After Mitchell flipped Stastny the puck from near center ice, the Avalanche forward dashed up the left side of the ice before converting from the left faceoff circle.
However, Dallas answered at 6:44 when Jagr skated around the far side of the Avalanche net and scored on a wraparound for his team-leading 13th goal of the season. After Jamie Benn sent the puck around the boards, Jagr collected the puck from behind the visiting net, skated in and saw his attempt deflect off the skate of Colorado defenseman Stefan Elliott before going through the five-hole of Giguere to again make it a three-goal game at 5-2.
Varlamov stopped 11 of the 15 shots he faced in 24:37. Giguere saved 15 of the 16 shots he faced in relief of Varlamov.
Tempers flared with 1:24 left when Colorado's Cody McLeod was whistled for roughing Dillon. The Dallas defenseman took exception with the penalty and a confrontation between he and Colorado's Shane O'Brien ensued, prompting officials to send both players to their respective locker rooms. O'Brien and McLeod each earned 10-minute misconducts for their roles.
The Avalanche will complete the back-to-back on Sunday against Vancouver at Pepsi Center. Dallas however won't return to the ice until Monday when the Stars host Minnesota for the first of two meetings next week (Dallas will also host the Wild on Friday).
NOTES: Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog was scratched from the game with a torso injury. Landeskog, who has 11 points (6-5-11) in 18 games, missed 11 games earlier this season with a head/leg injury. ... Rookie winger Reilly Smith was the lone scratch for the Stars. ... The Avalanche were also without veteran forward Milan Hejduk, who was given Saturday's game off so that he could be fresh for Sunday's game with Vancouver at the Pepsi Center. ... Dallas winger Loui Eriksson picked up his 21st assist of the season on Derek Roy's first-period goal, giving the 2011 NHL All-Star points in 12 of his past 14 games. ... Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who allowed four goals on Dallas' first 15 shots, was pulled just 4:37 into the second period, the third-shortest start of his career. ... Before the game, Dallas honored former defenseman Craig Ludwig, a member of the Stars' 1999 Stanley Cup championship team for being chosen to the franchise's 20th anniversary team.