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Stars Rally To Defeat Avalanche 5-4

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
DALLAS (AP) - Dallas overcame deficits of 2-0 and 4-3 and Antti Miettinen scored the game winner with 6:02 left in regulation to lift the Stars to a 5-4 victory over the Avalanche.

Miettinen's fifth goal of the season came only two minutes after Eric Lindros stormed through the slot and took a cross-ice pass from Mike Modano to score the tying goal.

The Avalanche, who eliminated Dallas in the first round of the last two playoffs, jumped out to a 2-0 lead on two goals by Marek Svatos in the game's first seven minutes and chased goalie Marty Turco.

Stars captain Brenden Morrow scored twice in the final three minutes of the first period to tie at 2, but later left with an unspecified injury.

Morrow appeared gimpy when he came off the ice during a shift change midway through the second period. He didn't return, and the Stars said he had a "lower body injury."

The Avalanche took a 4-3 lead on John-Michael Liles' one-timer on a power play in the opening minute of the third period.

Already on the power play to start the final period, the Avalanche quickly gained a two-man advantage when Sergei Zubov was called for hooking. Liles' fourth goal of the season came on the next shot.

Liles took a pass from Joe Sakic and slammed the puck past rookie goaltender Mike Smith. He came on after Turco allowed two goals on five shots and stopped 16 of 18 shots.

Sakic also assisted on the first two Colorado goals. His 929 career assists matched Larry Murphy for 13th on the NHL career list.

The Stars had lost four of six games. So had Colorado, but the Avalanche's two wins had come against Columbus and Minnesota before their third road game in four nights.

Turco was done after Svatos slipped a shot between the goalie and the left post for his seventh goal of the season and a 2-0 lead just 6:51 in.

Svatos scored at 2:01 in when his shot from the center of the left circle hit Turco's right pad and trickled under him - the puck barely sliding into the net. That came only seconds after Turco made a sprawling save to stop a point-blank shot by Svatos.

Morrow's two goals came in even quicker succession.

Just after a power play ended, Morrow took a centering pass from Mike Ribeiro and scored on a one-timer with 3 minutes left in the first period. With 14 seconds remaining, he knocked the puck into the upper right corner for his eighth goal on a pass from Miettinen.

Zubov scored from the blue line early in the second period to put Dallas up 3-2. But the Avs got even when Milan Hejduk punched in a puck that was loose behind Smith, when the goalie thought it was secured under his pads.

Budaj had 26 saves.

Notes: Stars RW Jere Lehtinen missed his third straight game because of a sore leg. ... Karlis Skrastins of the Avs played in his 454th consecutive game, the second-longest streak by an NHL defenseman. The record is 486, by Tim Hornton for Toronto from 1961-68 ... Brett Hull, now a special assistant to the Stars president, has reached an agreement with NBC to be a studio analyst for 24 games starting in January.

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