Fast Start Leads Avalanche Past Stars
by Ron Knabenbauer
DENVER--The Colorado Avalanche scored three times on its first three shots Thursday night and defeated the Dallas Stars 5-1 at Pepsi Center to win its first preseason game of the 2017-18 campaign.
David Warsofsky, Sven Andrighetto and Sergei Boikov registered markers in the first 5:09 of the game to give Colorado a 3-0 advantage after the first period. The Avalanche also received goals from Alexander Kerfoot on a power play at 2:47 of the second period and Matt Duchene at 5:56 of the third.
"We had the more veteran lineup today than them, and I thought we did a real nice job tonight using our skill and speed," said Avs head coach Jared Bednar.
"I think if you look in this room, we have a lot of good skaters and a lot of guys that can move the puck," Warsofsky said. "We have puck-moving defensemen that I think help a lot. I thought we were really clean coming out of our end in the first period. Any time you can do that and get the puck in the forwards' hands, especially these forwards, they're really skilled."
Goaltender Semyon Varlamov played the entire contest for the Avs and finished with 21 saves. It was Varlamov's first NHL-game action since Jan. 17. He had season-ending hip surgery to fix his injury groin in January.
Even though it was preseason, Varlamov was happy with his performance.
"It is important to play a couple preseason games before going to New York (for the first game)," Varlamov said. "Right now, it feels like everyone is flying. I had a good game. I feel good and that is important for me. I need my confidence back."
Varlamov played just as good as his teammates in front of him. The Avs outshot the Stars 28-22 and out-attempted them 66-39.
"Dallas sent the young guys to play against us today, but there are no easy games in the NHL," the Colorado netminder said. "I think we dominated all 60 minutes. We had a good game. We stuck with the game plan all 60 minutes, and I'm pretty happy with the result."