Nathan MacKinnon scored the deciding goal with 13:27 to play, and Jonathan Bernier turned away 27 shots to earn his fifth consecutive win as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the host Dallas Stars 4-1 on Saturday at the American Airlines Center.
Colorado won its sixth straight outing and has gained at least one point in 12 of its past 15 games. The Avalanche have won three of their five matchups against Dallas this season and are within a point of the Stars for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
MacKinnon broke a 1-1 deadlock 6:33 into the third period as he took a pass from Alexander Kerfoot just inside the left faceoff circle and whipped a wrist shot past Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop. Nikita Zadorov also got an assist on the play.
Blake Comeau cemented the victory with 1:40 to play off a pass from Zadorov. Colorado’s Mark Barberio added a short-handed, empty-net goal with 13 seconds remaining.
Kerfoot put the Avalanche on top at the 14:09 mark of the first period when he took a pass from A.J. Greer at mid-ice, skated into the zone and ripped a shot over the right shoulder of Bishop on the short side. Samuel Girard also got an assist on the play for his pass that cleared the Colorado end of the ice.
Carl Soderberg seemingly added to the Colorado lead with 12:57 to play in the second period as he fired a rebounded shot past Bishop, but the goal was waved off for goalie interference.
Dallas’ Jamie Benn tied the game when he sent home a rebound of a shot by John Klingberg after Alexander Radulov’s drop pass to Klingberg at 15:43 of the second period.
After the two late Colorado goals, the Stars finished the game on the power play after Comeau and Erik Johnson received penalties in a scrum just inside the Dallas zone with 1:16 remaining. However, Dallas could not dent the Avalanche’s lead.
Dallas is now 6-3-2 in its past 11 games but fell to 16-6-1 at home. Bishop started his 11th straight game and has allowed two goals or fewer in five of his past nine contests, recording two shutouts. He finished with 19 saves Saturday.
Colorado returns home for a game Monday against the Anaheim Ducks. The Stars hit the road for a match Monday afternoon against the Bruins in Boston.
--Field Level Media