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Stastny records four points as Avs stomp Stars

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche were shut out on five power plays, a pair of two-man advantages and a breakaway.

Turns out, they didn't need any of it.

Center Paul Stastny had two goals and an assist as part of Colorado's four-goal second period, and the Avalanche beat the Dallas Stars 6-2 Monday night.

Stastny finished with a season-high four points.

"Tonight, the door opened for us," said Avalanche right wing P.A. Parenteau, who had three assists. "It nice to see, it's good for our confidence, it's good for everyone. It's nice to get the offense going like that."

Defensemen Andre Benoit and Erik Johnson also scored in the second period, 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.

The Stars came into the game ranked 23rd on the penalty kill were stingy against the Avalanche despite giving up plenty of shots. Instead of getting frustrated, Colorado dominated at even strength.

"The power play was really good, to be honest," said Avalanche coach Patrick Roy, whose team went 0-for-5 on the man advantage. "We had a lot of shots. What else can you do? I don't want to over talk about the power play; tonight we didn't need the power play."

Especially Stastny, who broke out of a nine-game scoring drought against a team that brings out his best. He had two goals against the Stars on Nov. 1, and his only hat trick came against them on Oct. 3, 2007.

"I don't know, it's nothing special," said Stastny, whose previous goal and assist came Nov. 19. "Against some teams, you can play the same way every time and sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn't."

It worked 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.

"They came out strong and jumped all over us," Dallas left winger Jamie Benn said. "We laid an egg."

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.

"We were undisciplined," Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. "We took some bad penalties, and that led to a little bit of energy for them."

It could have been a 6-1 lead, but goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped MacKinnon on a breakaway early in the second.

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.

"It felt good to get that one," Barrie said. "I've had a few chances, but nothing has been going for me, so it was nice to get."

Colorado outshot the Stars 48-33.

The Avalanche scored first when MacKinnon beat Lehtonen with a wrist shot from the left circle at 10:38 of the first period.

Lehtonen allowed a season-high goal total 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, Colorado center Matt Duchene was called for hooking.

Dallas took advantage of the 4-on-4 when Connauton redirected Seguin's cross-ice pass past Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov with 33 seconds left in the period.

It was Connauton's first NHL goal.

"I was elated," Connauton said. "The elation wore off pretty quick -- as quick as it took them to take over in the second period."

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 he 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.
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