Dallas Stars blow past Avalanche 3-0

Kari Lehtonen and the Dallas Stars put together a nice finish for a lousy road trip.

Lehtonen had 23 saves for his first shutout of the season, and the Stars beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Saturday night.

Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist, and Patrick Eaves and Curtis McKenzie also scored. Dallas finished 1-2-1 on its trip to St. Louis, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Colorado.

“Obviously we didn’t want to end it with a loss so we came out prepared,” Eaves said. “I thought we played a structured game. This building has been tough on us in the past.”

Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves for the Avalanche, who were shut out for the fifth time this season.

Colorado played most of the game with five defensemen after Erik Johnson broke a leg blocking Seguin’s shot in the second period. Johnson will be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

“Injuries is not excuse, but it helps to have some of those guys in the lineup,” coach Jared Bednar said.

Lehtonen was sharp in his 35th career shutout, but he didn’t face a lot of prime scoring chances. The Stars also were unable to generate many offensive opportunities, but they capitalized on a couple of openings.

McKenzie scored at 5:08 of the first period and Seguin added a power-play goal at 6:02 of the second. Jason Spezza nearly made it 3-0 late in the third but his shot on an odd-man rush clipped the post.

“I said (Saturday) morning I liked five of our last six periods and tonight I liked all three and we finally got rewarded,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “It was good to see us play that well away from the puck. It’s attention to detail and we were able to maintain that for three periods.”

The Stars outshot the Avalanche in the second and third periods, holding them to 10 total shots while putting up 21.

“It’s nice but it was really like a whole team shutout,” Lehtonen said. “They took some chances in the first but then after that we just played really solid and that is real nice.”

The Avalanche pulled Varlamov for an extra attacker, but Eaves picked up an empty-netter for his 10th goal of the season.

“Penalty kill had big kills for us, power play got one, goalie made some key saves when we needed them,” Seguin said. “A lot we can build off from tonight.”

Colorado went 0-4-1 on its homestand. The Avalanche’s 19 points are the fewest in the NHL.

“Just playing horrible hockey,” center Nathan MacKinnon said. “It starts with us key guys. All of us need to be better. We haven’t been good this homestand; we’ve been pretty bad.”

The last-place Avalanche haven’t scored more than three goals in their last eight games and are 2-5-1 in that stretch.