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Jussi Jokinen scores four goals and Dallas Stars beat Colorado Avalanches 6-1

DALLAS - Jussi Jokinen is more than a shootout specialist now. He showed he can score in bunches for the Dallas Stars - and when they really need it.

Plus, he was efficient: five shots, four goals. "I'm upset I didn't have him on the ice more," coach Dave Tippett said after the Stars beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-1 on Friday night.

Jokinen's four goals, including a second-period hat trick in about seven minutes, helped the Stars end a four-game home losing streak.

"It's a big relief. It's been a frustrating month for me and the whole team," said Jokinen, who had only three goals his first 17 games. "We need some points to get rolling. It was a lot of fun."

The last four-goal game by a Stars player was in March 2000 by Brett Hull, who this week became an interim co-general manager for the struggling team after GM Doug Armstrong was fired.

That was about the same time Jokinen said he last scored four goals in a game, while playing amateur hockey back home in Finland.

"Getting that first goal gave me a lot of confidence," Jokinen said. "Things just got going."

After scoring on Dallas' first shot of the game, Jokinen had three of the four goals the Stars had in a span of 7:05 of the second period to make it 5-0. Colorado then pulled goaltender Jose Theodore.

Colorado was coming off an extended break, having not played since Sunday. The Avalanche looked nothing like the team that had a 7-1-1 stretch before that.

"We were brutal in all aspects of the game," coach Joel Quenneville said. "We had no spark, no emotion."

Dallas hadn't won at home since a 3-1 victory over Anaheim on Oct. 20. The Stars were coming off a shootout loss against San Jose on Wednesday night, the day they reassigned their team president and a day after Armstrong was fired.

Before now, Jokinen was known primarily for success in shootouts.

As a rookie two seasons ago, Jokinen scored in each of the Stars' first nine shootouts - and led the league in the then-new format by scoring 10 times in the extra session. He is 16-for-27 in his career.

Jokinen's fourth goal came after Sergei Zubov took a shot, and the puck deflected off a Colorado player. It went right to Jokinen between the circles and his shot trickled through the pads of Theodore and into the net with 9:08 left in the second period.

Theodore was gone after giving up five goals in 10 shots. He was 3-0-1 his previous four starts, allowing only seven goals on 121 shots in that span.

Jokinen got started 4:22 into the game with a power-play goal, a wrister from inside the left circle. That was the only shot Dallas had the first 10 minutes of the game.

In the second period, with Theodore standing straight up against the post, Jokinen gathered the puck on his stick and shot from a tough angle. The puck got past the goalie.

After Jeff Halpern scored his third goal of the season, Jokinen got his third of the game when Zubov set him up in front with a nice pass.

Zubov assisted on all four of Jokinen's goals for his first four-assist game since 1997. The defenseman has 12 assists the past eight games.

"We wanted to get some momentum, and it's great to see a performance like that," Tippett said. "Now our big thing is to sustain this momentum."

Mike Smith made only his fifth start of the season in goal for Dallas and stopped 17 of 18 shots. Smith lost his shutout bid when Jaroslav Hinka scored with 3:45 left on Colorado's final shot of the game.

Halpern's goal came on the deflection of a shot by Mike Modano, who had two assists. Modano, who last week became the highest-scoring U.S.-born player in NHL history, pushed his career total to 1,238 points (512 goals) in 1,257 games. He has six points more than Phil Housley.

Peter Budaj stopped 10 of 11 shots after replacing Theodore, allowing Mike Ribeiro's goal in the third period.

"They capitalized on their chances," Avs winger Ryan Smyth said. "They were scoring on backdoor tap-ins, and that's tough for the goal to get those. We've got to play better and smarter and harder."

Notes: Modano was the last Stars player with four assists in a game, on Feb. 10, 2002. ... Hull's four-goal game came in an 8-0 victory over Anaheim on March 21, 2000. There were 10 four-goal games in franchise history before that. ... Jere Lehtinen assisted on Ribeiro's goal, extended his career-high assist streak to six games.


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