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Eriksson lifts Stars to 7-6 win in OT; Duchene gets hat trick for Avalanche

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

DALLAS - Loui Eriksson wasn't quite sure how he scored his second goal of the night. The only certainty for Eriksson was that the puck went into the net and gave Dallas a win.

Eriksson's pinball goal at 3:55 of overtime lifted the Stars to a wild 7-6 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.

With the game tied 6-6, Eriksson passed the puck toward the net as teammate Jamie Benn skated in hard from the left side. Eriksson was credited with his eighth goal of the season when the puck deflected in off Avalanche defenceman Erik Johnson and past goaltender Semyon Varlamov.

"I saw (Benn) at the side of the net. I don't know if it hit someone, but it went in," Eriksson said. "There were a lot of goals out there today. We stuck with it and got the two points."

Matt Duchene put Colorado in front 6-5 at 8:22 of the third period with his third goal of the night and first career hat trick. Duchene's shot from the low slot glanced into the net off Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen's arm.

However, Stephane Robidas' goal from the point with 4:10 left in the third tied the score.

Daniel Winnik gave Colorado a 5-4 lead at 1:51 of the final period when he tucked a rebound past Lehtonen. Eric Nystrom's rebound pulled Dallas into a 5-5 tie at 6:01.

Sheldon Souray scored his 100th career goal during Dallas' four-goal second period that included power-play tallies from Souray, Eriksson and Alex Goligoski.

Vernon Fiddler added an even-strength goal in the second as the Stars seemed to take control after trailing 2-0 in the first period.

Benn added three assists for the Stars, who improved to 6-1 at home.

But the Avs rallied to tie it 4-4 on goals by Duchene and Paul Stastny over the final 2:15 of the second period.

Jay McClement added his first goal of the season and Ryan Wilson had three assists for Colorado, which had been 6-1 on the road.

"It was a crazy game," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said. "Those pucks had eyes tonight. I don't think it was a particularly strong game by either goaltender. It's not a great game to watch from a coach's standpoint, that's for sure."

Sacco liked what he saw from Duchene, who had been centring the second line but skated on the left side of the No. 1 line with Stastny centring for right wing Milan Hejduk.

"I've had some tough luck this year, even tonight," Duchene said. "I feel like I could've had two more. It was nice from that perspective, but it's too bad we lost. If we find a goal in OT there or in a shootout and win that game, it's hands-down the most fun I've ever had playing a hockey game in my life."

McClement fired a rebound past Lehtonen to give Colorado the lead at 5:36 of the opening period.

Duchene's first goal of the night at 12:17 of the first period came on the game's first power play with a blast from the left circle that eluded a screened Lehtonen.

The Stars were outshot 13-3 in the first 20 minutes and lacked energy after being off since last Saturday night's 3-1 home win over New Jersey.

"We were just flat in the first period," Souray said. "It's not an excuse. You see a game like this every once in a while. We were resilient. We stuck with it. We were fortunate to get the win. We'll take points any way we can get them."

Eriksson cashed in on Dallas' first power play of the night when he followed his own shot from the slot. The puck fluttered into the air and behind Varlamov at 5:39 of the second period.

Souray made it 2-2 on a blast from the right point at 12:24 of the second period, and Fiddler put Dallas in front from the left circle at 15:21.

Goligoski scored from just inside the blue line at 17:02 on Dallas' fourth straight power play of the period, giving the Stars a 4-2 edge before the Avs rallied late in the period.

Dallas forward Adam Burish sustained a facial cut in the final minute of the first period when he was hit by Winnik's high stick. No penalty was assessed, however, much to the displeasure of Stars fans, but league officials said in a email that Winnik wasn't penalized because his high stick came on a follow-through.

Burish received treatment and wasback on the ice for the start of the second period.

NOTES: The last time the Stars were involved in a game that included 13 goals was on Nov. 28, 1992 when the club was based in Minnesota and beat San Jose, 10-3. ... Stars second-line LW Steve Ott missed the game with a hip pointer and is expected to sit out a few more. ... Colorado C Peter Mueller has been out since the middle of October with a head injury but has been skating with the team. ... Stars home attendance continues to lag for a team that used to have regular sellouts with Friday night's game announced at 11,981. Dallas began the night 29th in the league in average home attendance. ... Texas Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler dropped the puck for the ceremonial faceoff.


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