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For a Colorado Avalanche team trying to put the nightmares of last season behind them, they couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. 30 seconds into their season, they took a silly Holding penalty and the Dallas Stars would capitalize on some crazy puck bounces and Tyler Seguin would jam the puck home just 43 seconds in to give Dallas a 1-0 lead.
Shell-shocked, the Avalanche would continue letting Dallas have their way ad at the 7:00-minute mark local product Devin Shore would slip a puck past Semyon Varlamov the Avs netminder would love to have back and give Dallas a 2-0 lead.
Colorado’s push back would begin almost immediately after as Joe Colborne would jam home a puck on a wild scramble in front of the net to make it 2-1 with a power play goal. Colborne wouldn’t be finished as the Avs would head back to the man-advantage near the end of the opening frame and Colborne would strike again from right in front of the net, tying the game and putting Colorado in a good position heading into the second period.
And what a second period it was. Just 51 seconds into the period, Tyson Barrie would hit a streaking Carl Soderberg, whose nifty move on the ensuing breakaway allowed him to slip the puck in between Stars netminder Antti Niemi’s pads for the 3-2 lead.
Things would only amp up from there as Nathan MacKinnon would get on the score sheet immediately off a faceoff win and shot from the point as he worked a tough-angle shot past Niemi, whose nightmare was really just settling in and moving Colorado ahead 4-2.
Colborne would net his third, his first career hat-trick, just 57 seconds after the MacKinnon goal as he deflected a Nikita Zadorov past Niemi, who was immediately replaced by Kari Lehtonen, and giving Colorado a five-goal outburst.
The Stars would respond, however, as the NHL’s highest scoring team a year ago would flex the offensive muscles at the 11:48 mark with their second power-play goal of the game, this time courtesy of Jamie Benn. The Stars’ top line would strike again just minutes later as Seguin would net his second of the game to push the game to 5-4 entering the third period.
Tyson Barrie would push the lead to 6-4 on a goal that deflected off a Stars defenseman and into the net. Not wanting to make it too easy on themselves, the Avalanche would have a massive defensive breakdown and Brett Ritchie would cash in on the Stars’ fifth goal of the night to bring the score to the game’s final tally, 6-5 in favor of Colorado.
1. Joe Colborne
2. Tyler Seguin
3. Tyson Barrie
PLAY OF THE GAME
The Soderberg breakaway goal was a gorgeous goal from start to finish. From the Barrie stretch pass that hit Soderberg perfectly to the move and finish, you can’t get much prettier hockey than that.
Colorado’s second goal showed everyone in the arena it wasn’t going to just roll over after the disastrous start to the game. Their inspired play would create the momentum that would eventually lead to their second period scoring outburst.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Avs move to 1-0 on the season and grab two points against a division rival in the Stars. Every point matters in a division as competitive top-to-bottom as the Central Division so the early start is great.
Colorado’s next foray into NHL competition comes in the form of a visit to the defending Stanley Cup Champions’ barn as they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday evening. Puck drop is scheduled for 5 p.m. MST.