Dallas doubles its goals on Aebischer

DALLAS (AP) -- Two games and 2½ periods into their first-round

matchup, the Colorado Avalanche seemed to be toying with the Dallas Stars.

Then things turned serious for Colorado. And the Avalanche

couldn't respond.

Philippe Boucher scored the tying goal with 4:27 left in

regulation, then Steve Ott won it with a breakaway goal off a

neutral-zone steal 2:11 into overtime, giving Dallas a 4-3 victory

Monday night that revives the Stars' chances in the series.

"It's a great feeling, but it's only one game," said Scott Young, who began Dallas' rally with a power-play goal with two seconds left in the second period. "We couldn't afford to lose this game."

A loss would have left the Stars facing a 3-0 series deficit,

which has led to elimination for every team since 1975. Now they've

got a chance to tie the series in Game 4 on Wednesday night. It's

in Dallas, where the Stars have lost only one of their last 20


Colorado won the first two games by a combined score of 8-3,

with the outcome of both never in doubt. The Avalanche again had a

two-goal cushion, leading 3-1 until Young's goal.

"That goal was frustrating, it gave them life," Colorado

center Chris Gratton said. "It got the fans back into it. The

building was jumping, and it gave them the momentum right back."

Still, Colorado goaltender David Aebischer kept it 3-2 for much

of the third period, and the Avs were less than five minutes from

another victory.

Dallas goaltender Marty Turco also helped keep things tight,

primarily by making a glove save on a point-blank shot by Rob Blake

seven minutes into the third period.

"It was my opportunity to step up," said Turco, who had 14

saves, just three in the third period and overtime. "It was

one-on-one. I like to think I thrive in those situations."

Aebischer, who made 28 saves, lost for the first time in his playoff career. How Patrick Roy's replacement responds to allowing the two late goals could be a key to the rest of this series.

"David is very hard on himself," Colorado coach Tony Granato

said. "Every time he lets in a goal, he feels he should have saved

it. He's very critical of himself. But from Day 1, he's been solid

for us."

Jason Arnott scored a power-play goal midway through the first

period to put Dallas ahead 1-0. The Stars led just 3:33, but that

was more than triple the 1:03 they'd been up through the

first two games.

Milan Hejduk had the tying goal, then Riku Hahl put the Avs back

in front. Steve Konowalchuk stretched the lead by scoring on a

power play midway through the second.

Boucher tied it from about the widest spot possible, in the

small space between the boards and the outside of the right faceoff

circle. With Young clogging the front of the net, the puck got past

Aebischer's stick.

"You want to take some chances," Boucher said. "I got


The winning play began when Ott blocked a neutral-zone pass from

Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote. The second-year center then took

off with the puck as soon as he saw it heading toward the Colorado


Foote couldn't catch up to Ott. Neither could Karlis Skrastins,

who dived just as Ott sent the puck through a narrow gap between

Aebischer and the post.

"I was just trying to keep the puck away from Foote," Ott

said. "The puck was bouncing all over the place. I was just trying

to throw it at the net. I couldn't believe it went in."

Ott is one of many Stars who bleached their hair and spiked it

into a mohawk for a new twist on the tradition of growing a playoff

beard. This goal -- his first in four career playoff games after

only two in 73 regular-season games, none since Feb. 4 -- really

makes him feel part of the club.

"All the emotion and happiness is awesome," he said.

The Avalanche went through the opposite emotions, something they

never came close to feeling the first two games.

"You're going to go through tough times throughout the

playoffs," center Peter Forsberg said. "But we still have to keep

in mind that we're up 2-1."

Game notes

The Avalanche have scored twice in the first period of all

three games. That's a major letdown for a Dallas defense that gave

up a league-low 38 first-period goals in the regular season. The

Stars allowed two first-period goals in just five of 82 games. ...

Forsberg upped his postseason scoring streak to nine straight

games, matching a career best. ... Arnott's goal broke a seven-game

playoff drought.