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Dallas doubles its goals on Aebischer

4/13/2004

DALLAS (AP) -- Two games and 2½ periods into their first-round
matchup, the Colorado Avalanche seemed to be toying with the Dallas Stars.

Then things turned serious for Colorado. And the Avalanche
couldn't respond.

Philippe Boucher scored the tying goal with 4:27 left in
regulation, then Steve Ott won it with a breakaway goal off a
neutral-zone steal 2:11 into overtime, giving Dallas a 4-3 victory
Monday night that revives the Stars' chances in the series.

"It's a great feeling, but it's only one game," said Scott Young, who began Dallas' rally with a power-play goal with two seconds left in the second period. "We couldn't afford to lose this game."

A loss would have left the Stars facing a 3-0 series deficit,
which has led to elimination for every team since 1975. Now they've
got a chance to tie the series in Game 4 on Wednesday night. It's
in Dallas, where the Stars have lost only one of their last 20
games.

Colorado won the first two games by a combined score of 8-3,
with the outcome of both never in doubt. The Avalanche again had a
two-goal cushion, leading 3-1 until Young's goal.

"That goal was frustrating, it gave them life," Colorado
center Chris Gratton said. "It got the fans back into it. The
building was jumping, and it gave them the momentum right back."

Still, Colorado goaltender David Aebischer kept it 3-2 for much
of the third period, and the Avs were less than five minutes from
another victory.

Dallas goaltender Marty Turco also helped keep things tight,
primarily by making a glove save on a point-blank shot by Rob Blake
seven minutes into the third period.

"It was my opportunity to step up," said Turco, who had 14
saves, just three in the third period and overtime. "It was
one-on-one. I like to think I thrive in those situations."

Aebischer, who made 28 saves, lost for the first time in his playoff career. How Patrick Roy's replacement responds to allowing the two late goals could be a key to the rest of this series.

"David is very hard on himself," Colorado coach Tony Granato
said. "Every time he lets in a goal, he feels he should have saved
it. He's very critical of himself. But from Day 1, he's been solid
for us."

Jason Arnott scored a power-play goal midway through the first
period to put Dallas ahead 1-0. The Stars led just 3:33, but that
was more than triple the 1:03 they'd been up through the
first two games.

Milan Hejduk had the tying goal, then Riku Hahl put the Avs back
in front. Steve Konowalchuk stretched the lead by scoring on a
power play midway through the second.

Boucher tied it from about the widest spot possible, in the
small space between the boards and the outside of the right faceoff
circle. With Young clogging the front of the net, the puck got past
Aebischer's stick.

"You want to take some chances," Boucher said. "I got
lucky."

The winning play began when Ott blocked a neutral-zone pass from
Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote. The second-year center then took
off with the puck as soon as he saw it heading toward the Colorado
zone.

Foote couldn't catch up to Ott. Neither could Karlis Skrastins,
who dived just as Ott sent the puck through a narrow gap between
Aebischer and the post.

"I was just trying to keep the puck away from Foote," Ott
said. "The puck was bouncing all over the place. I was just trying
to throw it at the net. I couldn't believe it went in."

Ott is one of many Stars who bleached their hair and spiked it
into a mohawk for a new twist on the tradition of growing a playoff
beard. This goal -- his first in four career playoff games after
only two in 73 regular-season games, none since Feb. 4 -- really
makes him feel part of the club.

"All the emotion and happiness is awesome," he said.

The Avalanche went through the opposite emotions, something they
never came close to feeling the first two games.

"You're going to go through tough times throughout the
playoffs," center Peter Forsberg said. "But we still have to keep
in mind that we're up 2-1."

Game notes
The Avalanche have scored twice in the first period of all
three games. That's a major letdown for a Dallas defense that gave
up a league-low 38 first-period goals in the regular season. The
Stars allowed two first-period goals in just five of 82 games. ...
Forsberg upped his postseason scoring streak to nine straight
games, matching a career best. ... Arnott's goal broke a seven-game
playoff drought.