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Stars Advance to WCF With 2OT Game 6 Win

Dallas Stars G6
Dallas Stars G6 | Image by Dallas Stars/Facebook

The Dallas Stars have advanced to the Western Conference after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in double overtime in Game 6 of the second round of the NHL Playoffs on Friday night.

Both teams came into the game with a clear focus on the defensive side. Neither team was able to be effective on the offensive side for much of the action, resulting in multiple overtime periods before the Stars were finally able to convert and send the Avalanche home.

Colorado opened the game much more physically and aggressively than the Staras in the first period, as they were credited with 22 hits and attempted 10 shots on goal during the first 20 minutes, while the Stars managed just 16 hits and five shots on goal.

However, Dallas prevented the shots on goal from scoring, and the two teams went into the first intermission tied at 0-0.

This tie did not last long. Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen sent the puck past Stars goalie Jake Oettinger, assisted by left wing Jonathan Drouin and defenseman Cale Makar, to give Colorado a 1-0 lead during a power play with 14:12 remaining in the period.

Dallas attempted to tie the game before heading into the final 20 minutes, but they were unsuccessful as they remained shut out going into the next break.

While Dallas entered the period down a single goal, they quickly tied the game back up in the third period following a goal from left-wing Jamie Benn off the assist from right-wings Evgenii Dadonov and Tyler Seguin with less than two minutes into the period.

The next 18 minutes of game time were a defensive battle, as neither team could gain an advantage in the scoring column, resulting in the first overtime period of the game.

The first overtime period was similar for the two teams, as a clear defensive focus outshone the offensive attempts throughout the 20 minutes of action.

Dallas was close to sending the Avalanche home during this period following a near goal from left wing Mason Marchment with 12:38 remaining, but referees called off the goal on a controversial interference call.

“That’s hard. That’s a momentum swing. Sometimes it can be a huge break for them. I think they maybe did push a little bit after that,” explained Marchment after the game, per the NHL.

Although much of the momentum shifted back into Colorado’s favor following this goal, the teams finished the first overtime period with the score still tied 1-1.

Colorado opened the second overtime period in an aggressive manner, as they took significantly more shots on goal to start the action than the Stars.

However, this aggressiveness did not produce results as Oettinger continually prevented the puck from getting past him, setting the Stars up for an eventual game-winner.

This series-ending shot came from Stars center Matt Duchene, who flipped the puck past Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev off an assist from right wing Joe Pavelski, giving Dallas a 2-1 victory after more than 90 minutes of action on the ice.

Oettinger proved to be the most important player for the Stars during this Game 6 victory. He bounced back from a difficult performance in Game 5 to have one of his best games of the postseason.

The 25-year-old goalie finished the game with 29 saves while keeping 96.7% of shots from making it into the net, including multiple spectacular saves during the two overtime periods to keep the Stars’ Stanley Cup dreams alive.

The Stars have now advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the second straight year, following an appearance during the 2023 playoffs in which they lost to the eventual champion Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Dallas will now begin preparations for their next series against either the Edmonton Oilers or the Vancouver Canucks, who will look to close out the Oilers in Game 6 of that series tonight at 7:00 p.m.

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