Nathan MacKinnon broke a second-period tie and Semyon Varlamov stopped 37 shots, leading the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
Erik Johnson, John Mitchell and Matt Duchene also scored as the Avalanche won for the fifth time in six games to leapfrog Dallas in the Central Division standings.
MacKinnon’s score with 8.4 seconds left in the second was part of a three-goal period for the Avalanche. They came out fast to start the third, too, with Duchene scoring just 12 seconds into period.
Brett Ritchie, Colton Sceviour and Ales Hemsky had goals for the Stars, who have dropped five straight in Denver and four in a row overall.
The pivotal play of the game was early in the third when Tyler Seguin, the NHL’s leading goal scorer, was stuffed on a breakaway by Varlamov. The save kept Colorado’s lead in tact as the crowd chanted “Varly, Varly.”
Varlamov improved to 6-2 with two shutouts in eight starts since returning from a groin injury.
The Stars pulled Kari Lehtonen with around 1:20 remaining and had a great chance to tie the game, but had a shot clang off the post.
The Stars caught Colorado napping in the Avalanche’s only home afternoon game of the season, scoring 27 seconds into the game. Seguin was originally credited with the goal after he turned and lined a shot on Varlamov. But it was given to Ritchie, who redirected the puck. Ritchie has three goals since being recalled from Texas of the AHL.
Sceviour gave Dallas a 2-0 lead at 9:24 when he controlled a loose puck in front of the net and lifted it over the right shoulder of Varlamov.
But Colorado erupted for three goals in the second period to turn around a game the Stars were dominating.