The Colorado Avalanche put together a season-high six-game winning streak behind outstanding play by goaltender Craig Anderson(notes). Despite his efforts to extend the run, the Avalanche didn’t give him much help, and now a visit to the Dallas Stars may pose another problem.
Anderson will likely be in net again Friday night as Colorado attempts to rebound from its first loss in nearly three weeks when they face the Stars, who seek a five-game home winning streak.
Anderson spurred the Avalanche’s six-game winning streak, posting a 1.14 goals-against average. He had two shutouts in the last four victories of the run, including a 27-save performance in a 4-0 home win over Dallas on Sunday, and allowed just two goals in that span.
Coach Joe Sacco blamed poor defensive play for the goal, as Havlat squeezed between two Avalanche players in front of the net and flipped the puck past Anderson, whose shutout streak ended at 126 minutes, 24 seconds.
“There was five minutes to go in the game there, we can’t allow that goal at that particular time,” Sacco said. “It’s not an odd-man rush or anything like that. We had bodies back. We just have to do a better job of not allowing him to score at that moment. We have to be harder in those areas.”
The Avalanche (30-16-6) will now try to rebound by beating the Stars (23-19-11) again. They’ve won both season meetings, but both have come at home.
Colorado has dropped six of seven visits to Dallas, but Anderson has won both of his career starts against the Stars with a 1.50 GAA.
The center had a goal and an assist in Sunday’s victory and had two goals and six assists during Colorado’s winning streak. He has 11 goals and a team-high 48 points, but has one goal and three assists in six games at Dallas.
The Stars are looking for a fifth consecutive home win after beating Calgary 4-3 in a shootout on Wednesday, overcoming a two-goal second-period deficit. They’re 12-2-2 at American Airlines Center and haven’t won five in a row there since Jan. 17-Feb. 8, 2009.
“We were down 3-1 and could have folded, but we had everybody battling,” coach Marc Crawford said. “We’ve got to keep building on this.”
Auld had 23 saves through overtime Wednesday before stopping all three of the Flames’ attempts in the shootout. He’s 3-1-0 with a 2.88 GAA in four starts, getting two wins via the tiebreaker. Turco has a 3.61 GAA in losing six of eight, including a 32-save effort in Sunday’s defeat.
“I felt good in the shootout,” Auld said after Wednesday’s win. “I obviously have a little confidence in that right now. That’s a key part, feeling good, feeling confident enough to hold your ground and wait for the move that you think is the one.”
The Stars learned Thursday that Mark Fistric(notes) was fined $2,500 but not suspended for hitting the Flames’ Eric Nystrom(notes) on the head with a helmet during a fight. The defenseman dislodged Nystrom’s helmet as the players grabbed at each other and he used it as a weapon, drawing a match penalty.
“He doesn’t have a history of anything like that,” Crawford said. “I thought it was accidental.”