DENVER -- Joe Sacco's decision to shake up his lineup paid immediate dividends for the Colorado Avalanche coach.
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It was a banner return to action for Olver, who had been a healthy scratch for seven games. He used the opportunity to state his case for more playing time.
"It hasn't been very good. I've been out of the lineup for a while and it was good to make a contribution," he said. "I made mine tonight when it counted."
Olver was almost the hero when Colorado came all the way back from a two-goal deficit. The Avalanche got the winner when Matt Hunwick's shot from the boards hit Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas in the back of the head and dropped to the ice. Kobasew quickly knocked it in with a backhand - a moment before Olver would have knocked it in.
"I took a good whack at it and was fortunate to put the puck in," Kobasew said. "Unfortunate that he (Robidas) was hurt on the play."
Olver dived on the ice in celebration - and relief.
"Sitting on the sidelines is not fun and it was great to come in and help tonight," he said.
"I don't think we realize that it's a playoff game for us," Jagr said. "Every game from now on is. We played like it was game No. 4."
Jagr played his first 19 NHL seasons in the Eastern Conference before joining the Stars this season. Facing the Avalanche might have been a reason he came West: Jagr has more points (46) against Colorado than any other Western Conference team, and he continued that success Wednesday.
His goal in the first period, his 11th, made it 1-0. He then assisted on Daley's third goal of the season four minutes later.
It was a typical slow start or the Avalanche, who have dropped five straight. Colorado has been outscored 34-19 in the first period this season, which has contributed to being in last place in the Western Conference.
"We had to make some changes. Changes we felt would help our lineup and that's what I did," Sacco said. "There comes a point where you wait around for people to get the job done and after a while you have to make a decision, hard decisions. Those are decisions you have to make."
It didn't appear to make a difference early, but the Avalanche fought back in the second to tie it. Olver scored on a rebound off the backboards midway through the period and Gabriel Landeskog scored a short-handed goal at 13:30, his second in as many games.
Dallas got the lead right back when Whitney took a pass from Jagr, skated past the front of the net and scored on a backhand 2:26 later to make it 3-2.
The Avalanche pressed for the equalizer and finally got it at 6:20 of the third when O'Reilly came down the left side, stumbled before gathering himself to beat Kari Lehtonen on the short side.
"We played well enough to win and invented a way to lose," Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said.
|Colorado's Chuck Kobasew (center) celebrates his winning goal with Matt Hunwick and Erik Johnson. (AP)|
|Colorado (11-14-4) «||0||2||2||4|
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|12:06||- Jaromir Jagr (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Fiddler, Robidas|
|16:12||- Trevor Daley (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Jagr, Goligoski|
|08:48||- Mark Olver (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bordeleau, Kobasew|
|13:30||Short - Gabriel Landeskog (6), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.|
|15:56||- Ray Whitney (4), Backhand Shot. Assist: Jagr, Eakin|
|06:20||- Ryan O'Reilly (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Olver, Hejda|
|16:31||- Chuck Kobasew (4), Backhand Shot. Assist: Hunwick, O'Reilly|
|03:16||Hunwick, 2 min, Interference|
|17:07||Benn, 2 min, Interference|
|17:57||Landeskog, 2 min, Interference with goal tender.|
|03:01||Stastny, 2 min, Tripping|
|12:14||Bordeleau, 2 min, Roughing|
|14:37||Nystrom, 5 min, Fighting|
|14:37||Hejda, 5 min, Fighting|
|14:37||Parenteau, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct|
|14:37||Roussel, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct|
|20:00||McLeod, 2 min, Roughing|
|11:09||Dillon, 2 min, Hooking|
|12:27||Palushaj, 2 min, High sticking|
|Shots On Goal|