The Avalanche scored five goals in the first period, including four in a span of 2:36, on Monday night to beat the Stars 6-3 and avoid elimination. Colorado still trails the best-of-seven series 3-2 with Game 6 scheduled for Wednesday night at 6 p.m. (NBCSN).
The Avs turned to their third starting goaltender of the series on Monday as Michael Hutchinson, acquired at the trade deadline, got the start. It was Hutchinson’s first start in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Second-string goalie Pavel Francouz, who had started the previous three games after Philip Grubauer was injured, was deemed “unfit to play.”
“It’s what you work for as a kid, and you dream about when playing in the backyard, is to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs. I was excited and looking forward to the opportunity.”Hutchinson said after the game.
As for Colorado’s offense, it set club records for goals (five) and shots (23) in any playoff period. The four goals in 2:36, that was just one second shy of the NHL playoff record, set by Montreal back in 1944. All of it added up to a 5-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare got things started 4:37 into the opening period and then the blitz began a little over halfway though the period. Here’s how it looked on the scoresheet:
- Andre Burakovsky, 11:51
- Nathan MacKinnon, 12:32
- Kazem Kadri, 13:43
- Mikko Rantanen, 14:27
After Kadri’s goal Dallas replaced Ben Bishop who was making his first start of the series. In all Bishop allowed four goals on 15 shots. He was replaced by Anton Khudobin who finished the game with two goals allowed on 20 shots.
“We were shooting a lot of pucks, we were going to the net, we were making it tough for (Bishop). Tough start for him to not being able to play for a while and to come in and face a lot of shots. I think we did a really good job there.”Burakovsky said of his team’s play in the first period.
In all 13 of Colorado’s 18 skaters had a point, and MacKinnon extended his NHL best point streak to 13 games with a goal and an assist.
The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla wrote that if defense is what’s needed to win championships then this year’s Avs team has zero chance to win the Stanley Cup … but at least it’s a fun ride with MacKinnon and company.
- TheAthletic.com’s Ryan S. Clark wrote about how it was a bizarre, surprising game and broke down how Colorado got the win.
- TheDNVR.com’s Evan Rawal handed out his player grades. The good news for the Avs is that despite the 6-3 win, there still are a lot of players who can perform better for Colorado.
- Hutchinson became the 14th goalie in NHL history to win his first playoff start while avoiding elimination at the same time.
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|
|Game 5||Colorado 6, Dallas 3||Box score|
|Game 6||Colorado 4, Dallas 1||Box score|
|Date||Time (MT)||Home team||TV|
|Fri., Sept. 4||2 p.m.||Colorado||USA|
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