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Sydor leaves penalty box to score winner in OT as Stars clip Avalanche 3-2

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Sydor leaves penalty box to score winner in OT as Stars clip Avalanche 3-2

The Canadian Press
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A boneheaded blunder? A big-time break, actually. Sydor came out of the penalty box to take a pass from goaltender Marty Turco and scored the winning goal at 2:07 of overtime Wednesday night, giving the Stars a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Turco stopped several power-play shots from the Avalanche, the last one by Marek Svatos, before swatting the puck to Sydor as he streaked to centre ice. Sydor took the puck in stride and beat Jose Theodore over his right shoulder.

"That's every goalie's dream, sending a pass right up the middle for a score," Turco said. "I don't plan on scoring any goals or helping out on the offense too often, but that was great in a situation like that where emotions are running high in the third and overtime. Coming off another penalty, and just seeing Darryl coming out of the box and a quick, bang-bang play, that was a pleasant surprise."

And it stunned many in the crowd at the Pepsi Center - and maybe some of the Avalanche - because the 2-minute penalty clock inadvertently didn't start ticking for almost 30 seconds.

Turco certainly wasn't among the astonished to see a wide-open Sydor streaking to center ice.

"We weren't aware of it," Turco said of the penalty clock malfunction. "Guys do a lot of chatter on the ice, a lot of things that signal a guy coming out. I didn't know the clock was wrong. I'm glad we didn't look at it! We had enough things to worry about with the 4-on-3 with those guys out on the ice for them."

Sydor called it sweet satisfaction after sweating out the penalty.

"I was just praying we didn't give up a goal. You don't want to take a penalty, especially in overtime," he said. "Mine was a dumb penalty. With these sticks, if you slash they are going to call it. A lot of sticks were up tonight. There was a lot of hooking.

"Once I saw Marty get it and set himself up to pass it, I had a feeling he was going to go up the middle with it," Sydor said. "He saw me and he knew what he was doing. Once I got it I had no idea what I was doing except to skate down and shoot."

Dallas coach Dave Tippett also sweated out Sydor's penalty, flabbergasted over the clock malfunction.

"It's amazing how you can have a clock not working in overtime," Tippett said. "Did you see that? A clock not working on a penalty time in overtime, now that seems a little wow. I'm looking up there and suddenly Syd is coming out of the box and he scores and that was that. We got a break there.

"It's frustrating when you see things like that happen. It was easy to figure out the penalty time because it was five minutes to three (on the game clock), but when the (penalty) clock is not jibing with that, you look at that clock and you think about when the guy is coming out of the box and a lot of things in play there."

The Stars' 7-0-3 mark since 1995 is the fourth-longest unbeaten opening-night streak in NHL history. Colorado still owns the NHL's best opening-night record at 15-6-6.

The Stars, who set an NHL record last season by winning 12 times when trailing after two periods, were down 2-0 entering the third period and tied it in the third on goals 28 seconds apart by Mike Modano and Loui Eriksson, then overcame the Avs' power play to beat the team that knocked them out of the playoffs five months ago.

Rookie forward Wojtek Wolski scored one of the Avs' two power-play goals in the first period, 46 seconds after Colorado captain Joe Sakic scored on a pass from Hejduk across the crease during a 5-on-3 advantage.

Modano, who relinquished his captainship to Brenden Morrow this season, scored from the left circle off a pass from Lindros at 1:28 of the third period, and Eriksson tied it at 2 when he took Stu Barnes' pass from behind the net at 1:56 and flipped it past Theodore.

"The first two periods we played really well," Sakic said. "I think the difference was Marty."

Tippett won't argue with that.

"I thought Marty Turco gave us a chance to win and held us in the game," he said. "That was all that we said after the second period, was, Marty has given us a chance, let's see if we can go steal one."

Notes: The Avs lost their first home opener (5-1-1) since moving to the Pepsi Center. ... Avs coach Joel Quenneville fell to 0-7-2 in season openers.

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Sydor leaves penalty box to score winner in OT as Stars clip Avalanche 3-2