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game recap

Avalanche hold off Stars, move into tie for second wild card in West

Grubauer makes 44 saves for Colorado, which has won three in row

by Jeff Miller / NHL.com Correspondent

Grubauer's flurry of saves

COL@DAL: Grubauer shuts down Benn at doorstep

Philipp Grubauer makes multiple stops in tight, including a pair on Jamie Benn to keep the Stars off the board

  • 00:17 •

DALLAS -- The Colorado Avalanche moved into a tie for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with a 3-1 win against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Thursday.

Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and Carl Soderberg scored for the Avalanche (33-29-12), who have won three in a row and are tied with the Arizona Coyotes, who lost 4-2 at the Florida Panthers on Thursday, with 78 points.

"It brings us a little bit closer to where we want to be, keeps the Stars in the picture," Barrie said.

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Stars highlights]

 

Philipp Grubauer made an NHL career-high 44 saves and is 4-1-0 with two shutouts in his past five starts.

"He's got to be the first star in the NHL for this month or the week or what have you," Johnson said. "It's pretty impressive."

Video: COL@DAL: Johnson pots Girard's feed for opening goal

Tyler Seguin scored, and Ben Bishop made 29 saves for the Stars (38-30-6), who have lost three of their past four games (1-2-1) and lead the Avalanche and Coyotes by four points for the first wild card.

"Grubauer played excellent and kind of stole the game," Bishop said.

Johnson gave Colorado a 1-0 lead at 17:20 of the second period on a one-timer short side from the left circle. It was his first goal since Feb. 9 (20 games).

"I just had the easy part shooting the puck," Johnson said. "[Samuel Girard] does what he does and makes awesome plays, and I was the beneficiary."

Bishop thought he should've made the save.

"I was ready for it," he said. "I've played with [Johnson] before. He's just got kind of a heavy shot and just got on me quick."

Barrie made it 2-0 at 5:19 of the third period on a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Bishop blocker side off the post. The goal was Barrie's 300th NHL point.

"It's hard to really put a finger on anything," said Barrie, who has scored four goals in his past three games. "It's just one of those things that you need to take it when you get it."

Seguin cut it to 2-1 at 14:59 with a redirection off a John Klingberg shot from along the right wall, but Soderberg scored an empty-net goal at 19:11 to make it 3-1.

Dallas outshot Colorado 24-11 in the third period.

"Once we fell behind 2-0, we had more desperation," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. "It led to more shots. In a short amount of time, the quantity of chances was better than the first two periods, but there was a lot of shots from the outside, too."

Video: COL@DAL: Barrie gets 300th point, ties club mark

 

They said it

"I like it. I like it on the road. I think it's hard for opposing coaches to match up. If they're looking for any matchups, it makes it real tough because they don't know who's coming. Basically, after the fourth shift of the period, it's a blender." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar on playing 11 forwards

"We didn't get the results we wanted, but I think we can compete like that for the rest of the season." -- Stars defenseman Roman Polak

 

Need to know

Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen did not play the final 6:35 of the third period. No update was provided on his status after the game. … Colorado is 24-1-2 when leading after two periods and 25-5-5 when scoring first. … Bishop remains one win shy of 200 in the NHL. … Dallas is 3-19-2 when trailing after two periods. … Seguin has 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in his past eight games. … The Avalanche are 4-2-0 without captain Gabriel Landeskog, who is out because of an upper-body injury.

 

What's next

Avalanche: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN1, ALT, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

Stars: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-SW+, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Video: Barrie, Grubauer lift Avs to 3-1 win against Stars

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