The Dallas Stars had a 2-0 lead after the first period, but couldn’t hold it and fell 4-3 to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver Wednesday night. The loss was the fifth in the last six games (1-4-1) for the Stars, who fell to 13-13-3 on the season. Jaromir Jagr had a goal and two assist for the Stars. Trevor Daley and Ray Whitney also scored. Kari Lehtonen stopped 30 of 34 shots.
Power play woes
The Stars were 0-6 on the power play Wednesday night and are now 1-20 with the man-advantage over the last five games. The power play also surrendered a shorthanded goal that allowed Colorado to tie the game at 2-2 in the second period.
Stars lose Whitney, Robidas during game
The Stars lost forward Ray Whitney and defenseman Stephane Robidas during the game. Whitney left in the third period with an upper body injury. Robidas left late in the third after being hit in the head by a Matt Hunwick shot. There was no immediate update on the status of either player.
The Stars controlled play early, had some good chances but didn’t cash in until the 12:06 mark of the first. After Colorado misfired on an odd-man rush, the Stars headed the other way and Jaromir Jagr skated to the slot and beat Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov with a wrist shot.
The Stars made it a 2-0 game at the 16:12 mark when Jagr dropped the puck off to Trevor Daley, who skated into the right circle and snapped a shot through traffic and by Varlamov.
The Stars almost made it a 3-0 game with 15.3 seconds left in the period, but a Ray Whitney power play goal was waved off because Erik Cole was ruled to be in the crease and impeding Varlamov.
Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen was sharp in the first, stopping all 13 shots he faced.
Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon had the hit of the period, nailing Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog with a hard hit in open ice.
The Stars had a power play chance early in the second, but couldn’t take advantage. Loui Eriksson had a good chance at even strength, but Varlamov came up with a big save to keep it a 2-0 game.
The Avalanche got on the board at the 8:48 mark when Mark Olver banged home the rebound of a Patrick Bordeleau shot that rebounded off the endboards.
Moments later, Lehtonen came up with a sharp save on PA Parenteau off the rush to keep it a 2-1 game.
The Stars went on their fourth play of the game and Colorado got two quality shorthanded opportunities and scored on the second one to tie the game at 2-2. Landeskog picked off a Daley pass at the Dallas blue line, put a shot on net from the right circle and then scored on his own rebound at the 13:30 mark.
There was a scrum with five-and-half minutes left in the period that included a fight between Stars forward Eric Nystrom and Avalanche defenseman Jan Hejda.
Ray Whitney gave the Stars a 3-2 lead when he came out from behind the Colorado net, circled into the slot on his backhand and then roofed a backhand shot over Varlamov at the 15:56 mark.
Varlamov kept it a 3-2 game a short time later, stopping Jagr as he broke in on net and got off a quality wrist shot.
The Stars opened the third period with their fifth power play of the night and had a couple of good chances, but couldn’t take advantage.
Lehtonen came up big early in the period, stopping a Cody McLeod bid from close range to keep the Stars ahead by one goal.
But the Avalanche tied the game at the 6:20 mark when Ryan O’Reilly scored off the rush, beating Lehtonen with a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot.
Colorado took a 4-3 lead with 3:29 left in the period when a Matt Hunwick shot from the left wing hit Stars defenseman in the head and Chuck Kobasew put the loose puck into the net. Robidas, who was down on the ice briefly after being hit with the puck, left the game.
The Stars also lost forward Ray Whitney earlier in the third period with an upper body injury.
The Stars pulled Lehtonen with just under a minute left for the extra attacker, but couldn’t get the equalizer.
Injured: Larsen (illness), Rome (foot), Garbutt (hand)