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Dallas at Colorado

Stars take high-scoring game against Avalanche

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

DENVER -- Stars rookie Chris Conner woke up Wednesday in Des Moines, Iowa, traveled to Denver for an NHL game and planned to sleep in a hotel bed when he got to Dallas.

At least he hoped to sleep in a hotel.

"I think they set us up?" Conner said after he scored his first NHL goal in the Stars' 5-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night. "It's been kind of crazy."

And memorable.

"I'm just trying to help the team win," he said.

Conner was recalled from Iowa of the AHL earlier in the day to replace captain Brenden Morrow, who was back home in Dallas recuperating from wrist surgery. Morrow was injured in Dallas' loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday and underwent surgery later to repair severed tendons in his right wrist after he was stepped on by a skate.

The Stars were also without alternate captain Mike Modano (hip flexor), Eric Lindros (upper body injury) and Steve Ott (fractured ankle) and yet still found a way to earn the win.

"This after losing a heart and soul guy in Brenden," said Jeff Halpern, who had a goal and two assists. "The young guys and the veterans balanced out well for us. The young guys got us started and the veterans finished it up."

Trailing 4-3, Dallas got goals from Halpern and Sergei Zubov 1:16 apart early in the third period to give Dallas a lead it wouldn't give up.

Dallas' scoring spree also ended the night of Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore. Colorado coach Joel Quenneville pulled Theodore with 18:08 remaining in the game and put in Peter Budaj. Theodore saved just 17 of 22 shots.

"The goaltending wasn't good enough at that stage of the game," Quenneville explained. "Putting Peter in gave us a little spark, and we needed better goaltending."

Marty Turco was his typically solid self -- especially of late -- stopping 28 shots and winning for the third time in his last four starts.

To get the win, though, Turco and the Stars survived a 6-on-4 opportunity when the Avalanche pulled Budaj with 43 seconds left and Trevor Daley was called for holding with 10.4 seconds left.

The Avalanche were 2-for-6 on the power play.

"We had a little bit of everybody tonight," Turco said. "It was a great team effort."

With Morrow missing for an indefinitely, that's the way the Stars have to play. Jere Lehtinen had a goal and two assists and Loui Eriksson scored his third goal of the season 2:57 into the game.

"We're going to have to cope with Brenden's loss as a team," Turco said. "We'll adjust. We can't feel sorry for us."

Wojtek Wolski had a goal and two assists for Colorado. He now has five points in his last two games.

Wolski also made a play that had the crowd buzzing. Wolski went up the left boards, only to be cut off by Dallas defender Stephane Robidas. Wolski put the puck around Robidas, grabbed it on the other side and shot a wrister off Turco. Joe Sakic picked up the rebound and put it in for his 16th goal of the season.

"We were taking the puck to the net and creating space and that opened the game up a lot (early)," Wolski said.

The momentum Wolski's goal created was stolen when Conner scored 26 seconds later.

"It was awesome. I can't say any more," Conner said of his first goal. "I hope my mom and dad were watching in Michigan."

In his haste, though, Conner forgot to grab the puck.

However, teammate Stu Barnes was watching out for Conner and retrieved it for him.

"This is just a great, great feeling," Conner said.


  • Sakic now has 1,529 career points, two behind Paul Coffey for 10th place on the NHL's all-time scoring list.
  • Colorado defenseman Patrice Brisebois suffered a back injury in the second period and didn't return.
  • A makeup date for the Colorado-Calgary game has yet to be announced. The game was postponed on Dec. 21 after a blizzard dumped close to 30 inches of snow on the city.
  • Paul Stastny turned 21 on Wednesday and had an assist.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Jere Lehtinen finds space under Jose Theodore during a power play for his eighth goal this season. (AP)
Jere Lehtinen finds space under Jose Theodore during a power play for his eighth goal this season. (AP)
Dallas  (24-14-0) «2125
Colorado (18-16-2)2204
Three Stars
J. Halpern

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
W. Wolski

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
S. Zubov

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
02:57Power Play - Loui Eriksson (3), Wrist Shot - Assists: Jeff Halpern and Jaroslav Modry
03:44Wojtek Wolski (11), Wrist Shot - Assist: Ken Klee
17:42Joe Sakic (16), Wrist Shot - Assist: Wojtek Wolski
18:08Chris Conner, Slap Shot - Assists: Trevor Daley and Stu Barnes
01:49Power Play - John-Michael Liles (10), Wrist Shot - Unassisted.
12:00Power Play - Andrew Brunette (12), Wrist Shot - Assists: Paul Stastny and Wojtek Wolski
13:27Power Play - Jere Lehtinen (8), Wrist Shot - Assists: Jeff Halpern and Sergei Zubov
00:36Sergei Zubov (6), Slap Shot - Assists: Mike Ribeiro and Jere Lehtinen
01:52Power Play - Jeff Halpern (5), Wrist Shot - Assists: Jere Lehtinen and Philippe Boucher
Penalty Summary
01:13Klee: Hooking - 2 min.
14:13Miettinen: High sticking - 2 min.
00:58Miettinen: Interference - 2 min.
04:43Brunette: Interference - 2 min.
07:14Boucher: Tripping - 2 min.
11:01Barnes: Hooking - 2 min.
12:57Skrastins: Too Many Men on the Ice(bench) - 2 min.
13:46Conner: Tripping - 2 min.
01:30Wolski: Tripping - 2 min.
19:50Daley: Holding - 2 min.
Marty Turco59:51284
Peter Budaj17:2350
Jose Theodore41:52175
Attendance - 18007
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Dan O'Halloran, Dan O'Rourke
Line Judges - Don Henderson, Brian Mach
Other Games
Mon 4 Final
Wash 1
NYI 0 Final
Ott 2
Atl 4 Final
Pitt 2
Phi 1 Final
Fla 3
Min 1 Final
Det 3
Cal 5 Final
Van 6