DALLAS -- Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov finished with 41 saves, making one of his biggest in the third period as the Avalanche ended the Dallas Stars' three-game winning streak in a 4-3 victory on Monday night at American Airlines Center.
"The difference in the game without a doubt was the start and the performance of our goalie," Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. "Having such a good start, they had to play catch-up hockey. In this league, it's very difficult."
In the third period, Varlamov turned away several shots from center Tyler Seguin, who led the Stars with three points (two goals, one assist), and another by left winger Erik Cole.
The Avalanche led for the final 15:47 of the game.
"In the last 15 minutes, we might have had five or six chances. He answered them all," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of Varlamov.
The Avalanche (33-14-5), who finished their road trip with a 2-1-0 record, received the winning goal from left winger Alex Tanguay early in the third period.
Captain and left winger Gabriel Landeskog contributed two assists for Colorado.
Tanguay's goal, his fourth of the season, came after his shot from the left circle deflected in off the left skate of Dallas defenseman Sergei Gonchar 4:13 into the third period after Dallas went off the power play. The Stars had gone on the power play at 1:54 after a holding call on Avalanche defenseman Nate Guenin.
"It wasn't pretty, but those things happen," Tanguay said. "I had (center Paul Stastny) at the corner of the net. If it doesn't hit something else, it probably goes in with him. I'll take those bounces."
Captain and center Jamie Benn (goal, assist) and defenseman Alex Goligoski (two assists) each had two points for the Stars.
The Avalanche struck early when rookie center Nathan MacKinnon scored his 18th of the season 1:40 into the game, beating Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen with a backhander. MacKinnon got the puck after Goligoski was unable to clear the puck and MacKinnon quickly finished into the left side of the Dallas net.
Colorado took a 2-0 lead at 15:57 of the first when left winger Jamie McGinn collected his own rebound and scored his 12th of the season with his own backhander. McGinn's first shot was denied by Lehtonen, but he skated toward the Dallas net uncontested and flipped in the carom.
Dallas pulled one back 2:33 before the first intermission when Benn beat Varlamov top shelf from the left circle. After a pass from Seguin, Benn scored his 20th of the season with a wrister that hit the back of the visiting net after sailing over Varlamov's glove.
Early in the second period, the Stars tied it 2-2 when Seguin scored a power-play goal 1:02 into the period. Seguin's low shot from the left of the Colorado net landed inside the left post after a cross-ice pass from Benn. It was Seguin's first goal in 12 games.
Seguin's goal came as the Stars were on a 5-on-4 power play after Colorado defenseman Nick Holden was called for a trip on Seguin 36 seconds into the second period.
Colorado regained the lead for a short time when Stastny scored an unassisted power-play goal 2:03 before the second intermission. Stastny beat Lehtonen with a backhander after an attempted clearance by Benn struck the right post and fell to his skates.
The Avalanche was on the power play after Dallas was called for too many men on the ice at 16:22.
But that lead would last just 16 seconds as Seguin victimized Varlamov with a wrister from the right circle with 1:47 remaining in the second period. Seguin's shot struck Varlamov in his right shoulder before crossing the line to make it 3-3.
"I was not happy about the third goal," Varlamov said. "I tried to regroup and get ready for the third period."
Lehtonen left the ice with 1:01 remaining, but the Stars were unable to force overtime. He stopped 17 shots.
NOTES: Avalanche RW PA Parenteau and D Ryan Wilson were scratched. Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said after the morning skate that Parenteau was a healthy scratch because Colorado was playing its third game in four nights and he recently returned from a 10-game absence with a knee injury. ... Representatives from five NHL teams were in the press box for Monday night's game. ... Stars G Kari Lehtonen was making his eight consecutive start for Dallas. ... Colorado C Nathan MacKinnon scored his 18th goal of the season early in the first period and continues to lead all NHL rookies in goals. ... The power-play goal by Dallas C Tyler Seguin early in the second period was his first since a 6-4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 2. ... Dallas has scored at least one power-play goal in eight straight games. ... Announced attendance was 11,678.