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Sports Scans Daily Brief 11 29 2011

Sports Scans Daily Brief 11 29 2011

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Published by: Ozmän Fiftyone on Nov 29, 2011
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Former Av Raycroft helps stop listless Colorado, 3-1

By Adrian Dater

Stars right wing Krys Barch puts a hit on young Avalanche defenseman
Stefan Elliott during the first period of their game at the Pepsi Center on
Monday. The Avs lost 3-1 to drop to 4-9-0 at home and 2-3 on their current
eight-game homestand. ( AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post )

The numbers coming in for former Avalanche goalie Andrew Raycroft on
Monday night were zero wins, five losses, .899 saves percentage. So it
made perfect sense that Raycroft was unbeatable in his Dallas Stars' 3-1
victory over the lifeless Avs at the Pepsi Center.

Seeing their home record fall to 4- 9 and 2-3 on a critical eight-game
homestand, the Avs made it easy on their former mate with a sloppy,
uninspired offensive showing. The Avs got a late goal from Kevin Porter,
with 3:36 left, but that was it.

Avs coach Joe Sacco gave a postgame summary like so many others.

"You look at our scoring chances, and we're not getting them in the areas
closer to the net. We're too much on the perimeter," Sacco said. "You need

production from your best players, and we're still just not getting it enough."

The Avs' top line of Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk just
didn't do enough, nor did the other three lines. Stastny went without a point
for the third time in four games, and Hejduk has gone seven straight games
without a goal.

"We're squeezing the sticks. It's very frustrating," Hejduk said. "We weren't
good enough. We aren't scoring goals. We got good enough goaltending to
win again, but we let him down."

Eric Nystrom scored the first goal of the game for Dallas, at 15:56 of the
first. He was first to the rebound allowed by Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov.
The Avs put 16 shots on goal in the second period, but they continue to
struggle to find truly dangerous offensive chances.

"Goaltenders are too good in this league if you give them too much time to
see the puck," Sacco said. "We put a good number of shots on (Raycroft),
but he had too much time and space to see the shots. We didn't have
enough traffic. Guys have to push harder to the net."

Other Avs players have fallen off the map with their scoring, including TJ
Galiardi, who has gotten plenty of chances to get it going from coach Joe
Sacco. But

Avalanche right wing Chuck Kobasew defends Stars defenseman Stephane
Robidas closely during Monday's loss. ( AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post

Galiardi has not scored in 18 consecutive games and has one goal in 21
games. Cody McLeod, currently playing left wing on a line with Galiardi and
David Jones, has not scored all season. Third-liners such as Gabriel
Landeskog and Daniel Winnik also are not scoring much lately.

After a hot start, Jones has cooled off considerably as well. He has two
goals in his last 16 games. The lone player to get on the score sheet in this
one was fourth-liner Kevin Porter, who scored his first goal of the season
with 3:36 left to make it a 2-1 game.

But Michael Ryder's empty-net goal, his second of the period, sealed the
verdict, and a quiet crowd of 12,015 filed out. It was the smallest home
crowd of the season for the Avs.

"We just didn't do enough to win," Jones said. "It's disappointing to follow a
win like we had (Saturday) with this kind of loss."

Adrian Dater: 303-954-1360 or adater@denverpost.com

Avs Recap

The Post's three stars

1. Andrew Raycroft.

Former Avs goalie got his first victory of the season for Stars.

2. Michael Ryder.

Scored twice for Dallas, including the game-winner.

3. Loui Eriksson.

Had two assists for Stars.

What you might have missed

Paul Stastny's 15:49 of ice time was his third-lowest amount of the season.

Up next

New Jersey, Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Denver Post: LOADED: 11.29.2011

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