Stars Fall Behind in Series With Game 1 Loss

Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche fights for the puck against Jake Oettinger #29 of the Dallas Stars | Image by Sam Hodde/Getty Images
Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche fights for the puck against Jake Oettinger #29 of the Dallas Stars | Image by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

The Dallas Stars lost to the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in overtime of Game 1 in the second round of the NHL Playoffs and have once again fallen behind 1-0 in a series.

The Stars opened the game with multiple goals in the first period but struggled to get their offense rolling in the second and third periods, as the team allowed the Avalanche to tie the game before losing in overtime.

Dallas struck first blood in this series as defenseman Ryan Suter flipped the puck into the net off an assist from center Matt Duchene, giving the Stars a 1-0 lead with 12:34 remaining in the first period.

The Stars managed to extend this lead just minutes later off a goal from center Wyatt Johnston, who sent the puck past Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev off an assist from right wing Joe Pavelski and left wing Jamie Benn.

This goal gave the Stars a solid 2-0 lead with 9:05 remaining in the quarter, with the two scores coming on just five shots on goal during the opening portion of the game.

Dallas quickly got an opportunity to score another goal, as multiple Avalanche players were sent into the penalty box.

Avalanche right wing ​​Mikko Rantanen received two minutes for tripping Stars right wing Evgenii Dadonov, while Avalanche center ​​Yakov Trenin received two minutes for high-sticking Stars left wing Jason Robertson.

The Stars did not take long to pounce on this opportunity, as Benn sent the puck into the net less than two minutes later off an assist from Robertson and defenseman Miro Heiskanen, giving them a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission of the game.

Dallas opened the second period playing more physically than in the first; however, this physicality led to Dadonov receiving two minutes in the penalty box for slashing Avalanche Valeri Nichushkin.

Colorado wasted little time to take advantage of this opportunity, scoring just 13 seconds later when Nichushkin sent a shot past Stars goalie Jake Oettinger, cutting the lead to just 3-1 with 14:29 left in the period.

The Avalanche had another chance following a penalty called on Stars right wing Craig Smith, who was forced out of the game for two minutes for hooking Colorado defenseman Cale Makar.

Once again, the Avalanche were able to score during this advantage, as Makar cut the Stars’ lead to just 3-2 off an assist from Nichushkin and right wing Rantanen with 10:52 remaining in the period.

The two teams played even through the remained of the period, which ended with the Stars holding onto their 3-2 lead.

Colorado tied the game less than a minute into the final period, coming off an unassisted snapshot by center Nathan MacKinnon with 19:21 remaining in the period.

The following 15 minutes of game time featured zero goals from the teams, with each opting to focus on defense and preventing the other from gaining any higher ground.

A save by Oettinger kept the puck out of the goal with just 1:04 left in regulation, as the two teams ended the third period tied 3-3.

The overtime period opened with the Stars aggressively attacking Georgiev, with Dallas attempting multiple shots on goal that were all blocked by Avalanche players within the first five minutes of game time.

This aggressive approach also helped the Stars maintain their defense, as they prevented any shots on goal by the Avalanche for the first seven minutes of the period.

Colorado did not need much though, as left wing Miles Wood made a backhand shot that slid past Oettinger off an assist from left wing Andrew Cogliano to give the Avalanche a 4-3 victory.

The Stars will now face an uphill battle in this series, as the team who takes a 1-0 has won 68% of all series in Stanley Cup Playoff history.

Dallas will now prepare for Game 2 as the team will look to tie the series 1-1 on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. in American Airlines Center.

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