The Stars took their first penalty of the night just 37 seconds into the game, when Nils Lundkvist was whistled for holding in the neutral zone. MacKinnon converted on the ensuing power play after a Jamie Benn turnover exiting the Stars zone.
At 13:51, Manson scored to give the Avalanche a 2-0 lead.
“We needed to get through the first 10 minutes, and we’re down 2-0,” DeBoer said. “I think if we get through that even, maybe it’s a different game.”
It was the fifth time in the last seven games that the Stars allowed the first goal. In the first 15 games, they scored first 13 times.
“Chasing the game, you’ve got to stay patient,” Pavelski said. “You’re still pushing, looking for an extra goal. This league, it’s definitely easier to play with a lead. Allows the four lines to get rolling. We probably knew we weren’t going to lead every game, but this group’s shown the ability to come back, can kind of flip it at times.”
— Luke Glendening fought Jacob MacDonald with 1:20 left in the third period, after MacDonald hit Joel Kiviranta in open ice. It was the eighth fight of the season for the Stars, matching last year’s total.
“It’s a close group,” DeBoer said. “They take care of each other.”
It was Glendening’s first fight of the season. Jamie Benn (two), Jani Hakanpää (two), Colin Miller (one), Ty Dellandrea (one) and Mason Marchment (one) have also dropped the gloves.
— Hakanpää left the game temporarily in the first period after he was hit in the face with a puck. He returned after receiving stitches with a full bubble on his helmet. DeBoer said Hakanpää was OK.