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game recap

Jared Bednar successful in debut as Avalanche coach

Joe Colborne's hat trick helps Colorado defeat Stars

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Joe Colborne had his first NHL hat trick to help the Colorado Avalanche defeat the Dallas Stars 6-5 in their season opener at Pepsi Center on Saturday in coach Jared Bednar's NHL debut.

"I'll tell you, that was a fun game," Bednar said. "It was an exciting game. I really liked it, I enjoyed being behind the bench. I thought our fans were amazing. I'm going to enjoy it, at least for tonight. It's a good night, a successful night for our team. I don't want to give up that many goals, but it was a fun game."

The Avalanche erased an early 2-0 deficit in the first period and scored three consecutive goals early in the second, capped by Colborne's third of the game at 7:05, to grab a 5-2 lead and chase Stars goalie Antti Niemi, who was relieved by Kari Lehtonen after facing 20 shots.

Colborne, who signed as an unrestricted free agent July 1, tipped defenseman Nikita Zadorov's shot behind Niemi to complete his hat trick. He scored two power-play goals in the first period, which ended 2-2.

"It's been awhile getting a hat trick for me. I'm happy we got the win, that makes it all the much better," said the 6-feet-5, 221-pound Colborne, who muscled his way to the front of the net on all three goals. "That's my job, something I take pride in, going to those tough areas and making them try to drag me down. This is something I'll remember for a long time. You can't script it much better than that."

Video: DAL@COL: Colborne records his first career hat trick

The Avalanche took a 3-2 lead 51 seconds into the second period on a breakaway goal by Carl Soderberg, who accepted a long pass from Tyson Barrie. Nathan MacKinnon scored at 6:08 from a sharp angle at the right side of the net.

The Stars closed within 5-4 on goals by Jamie Benn at 11:48 and Tyler Seguin, who had two goals and an assist, at 16:02. Benn tipped in Seguin's point shot and Seguin beat screened Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov from the right point.

The Avalanche extended their lead to 6-4 at 13:57 of the third when Barrie intercepted Lehtonen's clear around the boards and took a shot that went in off Stars defenseman Stephen Johns' skate.

"I was coming up the boards and was going to put it down low or throw it on net," Barrie said. "I threw it on net and I got buried. I was still picking myself up from the ice and I didn't even know I scored."

Video: DAL@COL: Barrie banks a shot past Lehtonen

The Stars climbed within 6-5 on Brett Ritchie's goal at 14:53, and the Avalanche sealed the win by killing Blake Comeau's slashing penalty that began with 1:56 to play. Dallas had a two-man advantage for the final minute when Lehtonen went to the bench for an extra skater.

"That's a tough position to be in, especially when you had a 5-2 lead and it's kind of slipped away on you," Bednar said. "We were confident on the bench. We had some guys make some big plays defensively."

Colborne scored his first goal at 9:21 of the first period when he slid the puck into the net under Stars defenseman Patrik Nemeth. He scored again at 16:25 by putting in the rebound of Erik Johnson's shot.

Video: DAL@COL: MacKinnon roofs a rebound past Niemi

 

Goal of the game

Colborne completed the first hat trick of his NHL career at 7:05 of the second period to give the Avalanche a 5-2 lead.

Video: DAL@COL: Colborne nets his third goal on a deflection

 

Save of the game

The Avalanche were nursing a 5-4 lead when Varlamov stopped Stars left wing Lauri Korpikoski from point-blank range at 2:55 of the third period. Varlamov knocked the puck down with his glove and pushed it away with his left pad.

Video: DAL@COL: Varlamov robs Korpikoski with his pad

 

Highlight of the game

After Lehtonen made a save against Avalanche left wing Mikhail Grigorenko at 7:40 of the third period, the puck caromed behind him, slid along the goal line and bounced off the right post.

Video: DAL@COL: Lehtonen kicks pad to deny Grigorenko

 

Unsung moment of the game

Dallas was trailing 5-3 when Colorado went on a power play at 12:57 of the second period. Defenseman Johnny Oduya went down to block a hard shot by left wing Gabriel Landeskog to help kill Nemeth's high-sticking penalty. 

 

They said it

"I liked the way we played offensively. I thought we were skating and on our toes, creating chances. I think we have to get better defensively. We made some mistakes defensively up ice that gave them some numbers and gave them some scoring chances early in the game and also a little bit later." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

 

"We didn't do enough to win the hockey game and didn't deserve to win. When you play like that, it doesn't matter if you scored five and give up six. It's unacceptable." -- Stars captain Jamie Benn

 

Video: DAL@COL: Benn deflects Seguin's shot for PPG

 

Need to know

Stars center Devin Shore, playing in his fifth NHL game, gave Dallas a 2-0 lead at 7:00 of the first period with his first career goal. ... Varlamov has won 11 consecutive decisions against Dallas. ... Defenseman Francois Beauchemin and forwards Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon were named alternate captains for the Avalanche. Duchene and MacKinnon will rotate; Duchene wore an 'A' on Saturday. Gabriel Landeskog remains captain. Jarome Iginla and Cody McLeod were alternate captains last season.

 

What's next

Stars: At the Nashville Predators on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, ROOT, ALT, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Colborne's hat trick leads Avalanche past Stars

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