The Colorado Avalanche took the ice at Pepsi Center Tuesday night after four days of rest and defeated a hot Dallas Stars team by the score of 5-3. The win put an end to Dallas’ four-game win streak, while Colorado avoided its fourth consecutive loss.

Stars captain Jamie Benn started off the scoring after a shot from the faceoff dot to Semyon Varlamov’s right ricocheted off of Avs defenseman Anton Lindholm’s skate and through Varlamov’s five-hole. Benn’s goal made it 1-0 at 8:03 in to the first period.

Matt Nieto evened the score at one on a four-on-four later on in the first period. Nieto cleaned up a bouncing rebound in front of the net and the goal would count for his first of the season. Gabe Landeskog was credited with the assist.

With a little over four minutes remaining in the first period, Alex Kerfoot was given a double-minor penalty and the Avalanche closed the period on the kill for four minutes.

The first period closed with a 1-1 tie as the Avs led in shots on goal 11-10.

The Avalanche were first to tally in the second period as a mishandled puck behind the net by Stars goalie Ben Bishop was taken by Blake Comeau who fed the puck to a wide open Carl Soderberg. Bishop miraculously recovered and saved Soderberg’s shot, but Matt Nieto was there to clean up yet another rebound for his second of the night.

The Stars promptly answered back just 30 seconds later as Brett Ritchie put one past Varlamov on assists from both Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.

The Avalanche had an answer of their own after Gabe Landeskog stole the puck on the wall during a Stars breakout and he drove the net, ultimately putting the puck around Bishop on the far side of the turnover. The goal was Landeskog’s third of the year and Colorado’s third of the night as they led 3-2.

Shortly after the Avalanche goal, the Stars pulled Ben Bishop and Kari Lehtonen would finish the game in net for Dallas.

With 9.8 seconds left in the second period Tyson Barrie’s slap shot from the point went wide and bounced off the boards behind the net to Mark Barberio who put the puck past Lehtonen from the top of the circle. The period ended with the Avalanche winning the game 4-2 and the shot count 26-23.

Halfway through the third period, a Sven Andrighetto turnover on a defensive-zone breakout gave the puck to Jamie Benn who appeared to have scored his second of the night. The goal was later credited to Dallas’ John Klingberg. Klingberg’s goal made the score 4-3 and the Avalanche were faced with some third-period adversity.

A battle back-and-fourth ensued as the Stars pushed for a late game-tying goal, but the Avalanche pushed back closing out the game in a hard-fought fashion that was rarely seen last season. Then, with 3.1 seconds remaining, Matt Nieto scored on an empty net for his first career hat trick.

Semyon Varlamov put the team on his shoulder, making big saves throughout the evening and finishing the night with 34 saves. Varlamov is now 4-2-0 on the season and is experiencing his best start since the 2013-14 season.

Colorado’s next game will be the first of a double header on Friday afternoon in Las Vegas at 4 PM MST.

Three Stars of the Game:

3. Blake Comeau (3 assists)

2. Jamie Benn (1 goals, 2 assists)

  1. Matt Nieto (3 goals)