A blazing hot Avalanche team was finally cooled off with its first regulation loss in almost two months.
The Dallas Stars rolled to a 4-1 victory Tuesday at Ball Arena to end Colorado’s franchise-record points streak at 19 games. The Avs went 17-0-2 over that span.
Pavel Francouz started in net against Dallas to rest starting goalie Darcy Kuemper ahead of a quick turnaround Wednesday at the Vegas Golden Knights. Colorado entered Tuesday’s game with 17 consecutive penalty kills but gave up two power-play goals to Stars center Joe Pavelski. Nathan MacKinnon scored the Avs’ lone goal with Jake Oettinger in net for Dallas.
The Avalanche (34-9-4) dominated to begin the game with suffocating puck possession. The Stars were held without a shot on goal until nine minutes left in the first period. But momentum shifted when a Nazem Kadri delay of game penalty gave Dallas a power-play chance. Francouz got beat backdoor by Pavelski to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.
The teams exchanged goals early in the second period. A missed defensive assignment in the Avalanche defensive zone left Stars winger Jason Robertson all alone for an easy one-timer past Francouz. Then, less than a minute later, MacKinnon put Colorado on the scoreboard with his first goal since returning from a broken nose and concussion. MacKinnon improved to 10 goals scored on the season.
But the newfound energy in Ball Arena wouldn’t last. A Colorado penalty for too many men on the ice resulted in yet another Pavelski power play goal for a 3-1 deficit after two periods.
The Stars added an open-net goal from center Tyler Seguin in the third period. Francouz made 16 of 19 saves on the night. Colorado outshot the Stars by a wide margin with 47 attempts on goal but failed to capitalize on any of its four power-play opportunities.
The Avs return to the ice on short rest Wednesday night at Vegas in the second outing of back-to-back games.
“You’re just focusing day-to-day,” defenseman Cale Makar said before Tuesday’s game. “You’re going to put all of your effort into this one and then find a way for the next one, too. It’s a tough back-to-back. Obviously, two teams (Dallas and Vegas) that are very strong in a lot of areas of their game.”
This story will be updated.