A Finnish hat trick helps Avalanche victory over Stars


The Colorado Avalanche continued their home stand against their rival Dallas Stars. Coming into the night, the Stars led the Central Division over Colorado by four points. They have met twice so far this season, and the Avalanche have walked away as the victors on both occasions. Colorado looked as if they had more energy in practice yesterday and tonight. Tonight was a complete turnaround compared to the recent play by the Avalanche. The return of Valeri Nichushkin this week to practice may have injected some new life into the team. Here are the takeaways for the 5–1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.


— All three Finnish skaters on the Avalanche score tonight. Joel Kiviranta opened the scoring for the Avalanche to counterpunch the opening goal by the Stars. He did it in just 68 seconds after the Stars scored. Mikko Rantanen added his 31st goal of the year almost four minutes later. As Colorado went to the power play in the second period, Artturi Lehkonen added his goal. Lehkonen has been on fire lately with four goals in the last six games.

— Cale Makar added an assist on Nathan MacKinnon’s goal, making Makar the all-time points leader for a defenseman in franchise history. Makar passed former Avalanche Tyson Barrie (307 points) in just 293 games. It took Barrie 484 games.

— The first half of the game the Avalanche had trouble with turnovers. There were multiple occasions when Colorado was in the corners in their own zone and would flip the puck to a Dallas player. Usually, as a defenseman, you want to chip it to a teammate behind the net, but that was not happening. The wingers on the half-boards also kept chipping the puck to center ice, allowing Dallas to have prime scoring chances.


The Avalanche clearly had the advantage tonight over the Stars with the altitude. By the end of the game, Dallas was struggling to skate while Colorado had no issues. The Avalanche have been having some recent struggles (which showed against Toronto), but they moved on tonight. We saw more of what we have grown to expect with the Avalanche tonight, speed and quick strikes. Next on deck will be the last place Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night in Denver.

Leave a Reply