Raycroft stopped 35 shots for his first win in nearly a year as the Stars beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Monday night.
“It would have been nice to get one earlier,” said the 10-year veteran, who signed with the Stars for this season. “That’s the way it goes, but I played well enough to get one.”
“Raycroft was huge for us. Nice for our guys to have some confidence in him,” Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said. “It’s good for his confidence moving forward because we are going without Kari Lehtonen for a while.”
Raycroft (1-5) hadn’t won since beating Minnesota on Jan. 9. He made his first start since taking over for Lehtonen, who was placed on the injured list on Sunday after he hurt his right knee against Phoenix.
“Things have changed for me, and now I’m going to get some starts here and carry some load,” Raycroft said. “I’ve done it before and am confident in my ability.”
“There just was not enough quality chances, and that was the biggest problem,” Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. “We have to do a better job of driving more to the inside, getting in front of the goaltender more, making their job more difficult.”
The Avalanche had a 11-8 shots advantage in the first period, but Dallas led 1-0 at the intermission on Nystrom’s rebound goal.
Daniel Winnik(notes) nearly scored the first short-handed goal against Dallas this season. Winnik broke in on Raycroft, but was slashed by defenseman Sheldon Souray(notes) before he was got off a shot at 3:49.
“Any of those shots could have changed the game,” Raycroft said. “We were up 1-0, so you want to keep that lead for as long as possible.”
Ryder, who played on a gimpy leg, beat Varlamov glove side at 14:36 of the third period. Porter scored at 16:24, but Ryder sealed it with an empty-net goal with 27.7 seconds left.
“It was kind of a broken play,” Porter said. “They had a turnover, and (David) Jones made a nice play. I got a shot on net and just went hard to the net.”
Raycroft said he hardly recognized the Avalanche team that he played with in the 2008-09 season.
NOTES: Dallas has not lost in regulation when leading after two periods. … Dallas’ top prospect Jamie Oleksiak(notes) was selected to Canada’s National Junior team. … The Stars played the second of a seven of nine stretch on the road. … Dallas’ power play is 0 for 20 in the past eight games. … Stefan Elliott(notes) earned his first career assist for Colorado. … The Avalanche haven’t won consecutive home games this season.