For the third time in four games the Stars scored five goals en route to beating the Avalanche 5-4 on Sunday afternoon to put Colorado on the brink of elimination.
Dallas now leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 with Game 5 tonight at 7:45 p.m. (NBCSN).
Offense not the issue
Colorado has scored 15 goals through four games against Dallas, the problem obviously is the fact that they have allowed a stunning 19 goals against so far.
“It feels like they score in bunches right now. They’re very opportunistic. Obviously, some of that’s on us. When they get one, they get two or three right now. We got to limit that. You know, the series isn’t over. We’re going to be ready for Game 5.”Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon said after the game.
The deciding goal in Sunday’s game was scored after defenseman Cale Makar and starting goalie Pavel Francouz fumbled with the puck and turned it over in front of the net where Dallas’ Denis Gurianov knocked it in to put the Stars ahead 5-2 less than halfway through the third period.
At that point Francouz was pulled for third-string goalie Michael Hutchinson.
As much as the defense and play in net have been an issue, the amount of penalties Colorado is taking and what Dallas is doing with its power-play opportunities has been just as crucial. The Stars went 3-for-6 on the power play in Game 4.
“It’s the penalties that we’re taking and their power play is feeding their offense and their energy right now. We take a couple penalties early and they capitalize on them. I give our team credit for battling back and scratching and clawing through the second period, but, I say it all the time — catch up hockey is losing hockey. We got to have a better start than that and (fewer) penalties. They’re too dangerous. We got to stay out of the box.”Avs coach Jared Bednar said after the loss.
No help coming for Colorado
The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers wrote that the Avs won’t be getting defenseman Erik Johnson or forwards Matt Calvert and Joonas Donskoi back for tonight’s Game 5. And starting goalie Philipp Grubauer likely is done for the series, if not the entire postseason.
MacKinnon keeps streaking
With an assist on Makar’s second period goal MacKinnon extended his playoff point streak to 12 games. It’s the longest in club history and the longest in the NHL since 2010 with Chicago’s Jonathan Toews scored in 13 straight games and Detroit’s Johan Franzen scored in 12 in a row.
The Post’s Mark Kiszla wrote how Makar’s “blunder for the ages” defines this playoff series for the Avs.
My thoughts: It was a bad play, but to call it a blunder for the ages is extreme. I can remember Patrick Roy making a similar mistake during a playoff series years ago. And the fact is this one felt more like a miscommunication between Makar and Francouz than anything else. A bad mistake sure, but not one that will life in infamy next to Rahim Moore and Bill Buckner.
- TheDNVR.com’s Evan Rawal handed out his player grades after the game and not surprisingly there were plenty of Ds and Fs handed out.
- The Avs managed to block just nine shots Sunday, while the Stars were credited with 22.
Avs-Stars series results and schedule
|Game 1||Dallas 5, Colorado 3||Box score|
|Game 2||Dallas 5, Colorado 2||Box score|
|Game 3||Colorado 6, Dallas 4||Box score|
|Game 4||Dallas 5, Colorado 4||Box score|
|Date||Time (MT)||Home team||TV|
|Mon., Aug. 31||7:45 p.m.||Colorado||NBCSN|
|*Wed., Sept. 2||TBD||Dallas||TBD|
|*Fri., Sept. 4||TBD||Colorado||TBD|
Avs-Stars Game 4 highlights
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