Stars Hoping for Bounce-Back Win in Game 2

Jamie Benn #14 of the Dallas Stars skates with the puck against Arvid Holm #31 of the Colorado Avalanche | Image by Sam Hodde/Getty Images
Jamie Benn #14 of the Dallas Stars skates with the puck against Arvid Holm #31 of the Colorado Avalanche | Image by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

The Dallas Stars are set to face off against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. in American Airlines Center for Game 2 of the second round of the NHL Playoffs.

The Stars will attempt to bounce back after a 4-3 overtime loss in which they led 3-0 at the end of the first period before giving up four unanswered goals as the Avalanche stole the first game.

Dallas and Colorado are coming off two very different first-round series, as the Stars needed all seven games to dismantle the Las Vegas Golden Knights, while the Avalanche easily beat the Winnipeg Jets in five games.

Stars coach Pete DeBoer said after Game 1 that he was happy with how the team opened the first period but was not surprised that fatigue set in after a long seven-game series in the previous round. He added that the mental mistakes must be removed if they want to win this series.

“They’re a quick-strike team. You can’t make mistakes in those situations. It’s a tough lesson to learn in Game 1, but glad you’re not learning it in Game 6 or 7 in an elimination game,” he said, according to ESPN.

Dallas will now look to even the series with a Game 2 win, as the team will likely enter the second game with a slightly different game plan.

Keys to victory in Game 2 will come from power play opportunities and physicality, as the Avalanche outperformed the Stars in both of those categories to open the series.

Despite the Stars having four advantages throughout Game 1 due to Colorado penalties, they were only able to score a goal on one of these opportunities.

On the other hand, the Avalanche scored a goal on both of their power play opportunities, which helped them significantly as they attempted to come back in the game.

Similarly, Colorado played the game much more physically than the Stars, being credited with 46 hits, while the Stars were credited with just 20 hits.

Dallas will likely attempt to flip these two categories in their favor for Game 2, which could provide a spark to help guide them to victory.

The Stars have been led in this postseason by center Wyatt Johnston, who has contributed five goals to go along with three assists through their eight games.

One of the most important players for the Stars in these games has been goalie Jake Oettinger, who has consistently faced a high number of shots on goal but saved 91.5% of those attempts.

Leading into Game 2, Stars center Matt Duchene said that the team must come out aggressively to win and give themselves a chance as they head back to Colorado.

“We’re a great road team and if we put ourselves in a position to go to Denver 1-1, I think that gives us a good chance. We’re confident on the road. We’re good there,” he said, according to NHL.

“They’re great at home, but you have to have it here next game. I think Game 2 against Vegas we were probably the better team and didn’t get the result. But we have to make sure we get it next game.”

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