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Stars slip past Avalanche

Stars 3, Avalanche 2

DALLAS — Dallas defenseman Brad Lukowich didn't want to waste his rare scoring chance to give the Stars a victory.

Lukowich buried the opportunity with a back-hander from the slot with 3:13 left in overtime as the Stars beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 Saturday.

Lukowich skated up from the blue line and scored through the pads of goalie Patrick Roy, converting Ted Donato's pass from behind the net.

"If I would have messed that one up, I'd be hearing about it for a long, long time," said Lukowich of his third goal of the season and seventh career. "I was going to go for the forehand, but I saw a (defenseman) coming and got good wood on it on the backhand."

Lukowich was on the ice during the 4-on-4 overtime because the Stars were without injured forwards Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner.

The coaching staff's confidence in Lukowich has been growing. He's the team's fifth defenseman, but he leads the Stars with a plus-minus rating of plus-23.

"It's good to be out there in that situation," Lukowich said. "When you get a couple of guys (injured), one or two guys have to jump up. To be out there in the mix in a big win like this can only help your confidence."

The victory was the Stars' first over the Avalanche at home in seven games.

Joe Sakic's 40th goal late in the second period pulled Colorado into a 2-2 tie. Sakic beat goalie Ed Belfour on a back-hander from the slot at 17:37.

The teams play again Sunday night at Denver, where the Avalanche are 23-5-4-2.

RANGERS 3, SENATORS 2: At Ottawa, Petr Nedved and Sandy McCarthy scored 1:12 apart as the New York Rangers used a third-period rally to end a four-game losing streak.

Radek Dvorak also scored for the Rangers.

CANADIENS 3, COYOTES 3: At Phoenix, Saku Koivu scored twice as Montreal rallied from a three-goal deficit to tie Phoenix.

PENGUINS 6, FLAMES 3: At Pittsburgh, Jaromir Jagr scored three times, including the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, and Mario Lemieux had the tying goal as Pittsburgh stormed past Calgary.

LIGHTNING 4, BLUE JACKETS 1: At Tampa, Martin St. Louis scored a pair of power-play goals in the third period as Tampa Bay beat Columbus.

THRASHERS 7, BRUINS 5: At Boston, Andrew Brunette scored a power-play goal with 21 seconds remaining Saturday as the Atlanta Thrashers overcame five Boston power-play goals to win.

Atlanta swept four games from Boston this season. The Bruins, fighting for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, lost for the fourth time in the past week.

DEVILS 3, FLYERS 2: At Philadelphia, John Madden scored with 47 seconds left in the third period as New Jersey edged Philadelphia.

The Devils won their seventh straight game and increased their Atlantic Division lead over the Flyers to three points.

RED WINGS 2, BLUES 2: At St. Louis, Brendan Shanahan scored in the final minute of the third period as Detroit tied St. Louis.

Detroit, which has 92 points, maintained its one-point lead over St. Louis in the Central Division.

St. Louis had its winless streak extended to six games, its longest of the season. The Blues last won on Feb. 26.

PREDATORS 3, SHARKS 0: At San Jose, Scott Walker, Randy Robitaille and Tom Fitzgerald scored as visiting Nashville blanked San Jose.

CANUCKS 3, MAPLE LEAFS 3: At Vancouver, visiting Toronto overcame a 3-0 deficit to even the score.

KINGS 2, BLACKHAWKS 2: At Los Angeles, Bob Probert's third-period goal allowed Chicago to leave the Staples Center with a tie.