In his first game filling in as the starter for the injured Kari Lehtonen, Andrew Raycroft stopped 35 of 36 shots to lead the Dallas Stars to a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in Denver Monday night. It was Raycroft’s first win in six decisions this season, his first since January 9 of last season and it snapped a personal seven-game losing streak. Michael Ryder scored two goals and Eric Nystrom scored one for the Stars, who improved to 14-9-1 on the season and also snapped a four-game losing streak on the road.
Stars goaltender Andrew Raycroft made 11 saves in the first period, including a couple of nice stops on shorthanded chances by the Avalanche.
The only goal of the period came at the 15:56 mark when Eric Nystrom scored off the rebound of Vernon Fiddler shot off the rush.
Stars forward Krys Barch dropped the gloves with Colorado’s Cody McCleod. The scrap came after Barch nailed Avalanche defenseman Stefan Elliott with a hard hit.
Both teams were 0-2 on the power play in the period.
Andrew Raycroft made 16 saves in the second, giving him 27 saves on 27 shots through the first two periods.
He had two big back-to-back saves in the period, stopping Colorado’s Paul Stastny’s attempt after the puck rebounded off the endboards and then made a pad stop on a backhand stop by Ryan O’Reilly.
The Stars outshot the Avalanche 15-9 in the third period.
Michael Ryder made it a 2-0 game when he took a long pass from Loui Eriksson, broke in alone on net and beat Semyon Varlamov with a wrist shot with 5:24 remaining in the game.
Colorado cut the lead to 2-1 when Kevin Porter scored off the rebound of a Ryan Wilson point shot with 3:36 remaining.
The Avalanche pulled Varlamov with just under 1:30 remaining for the extra attacker, but Ryder sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 27.7 seconds remaining.
Scratches: Dowell, Wathier
Injured: Lehtonen (groin), Morrow (back), Daley (back), Goligoski (broken thumb), Burish (broken hand)