Avalanche score fewest goals of the playoffs in tough loss to Stars

May 11, 2024, 10:36 PM | Updated: May 12, 2024, 12:06 am

Dallas Stars goalie Jake Oettinger was fantastic on Friday night, and the Colorado Avalanche are in a 2-1 series hole.

Oettinger made 29 saves and the Avs managed just one goal in a 4-1 defeat. It was by far the fewest Colorado has scored so far this postseason.

In fact, in seven games thus far, they had found the back of the net at least three times, and were averaging exactly five goals per contest. That plummeted thanks to Oettinger, who made a handful of saves down the stretch to preserve the win for the Stars. An empty-netter from Tyler Seguin with 1:38 left iced things, and Dallas added another for good measure.

Still, for a moment, it looked like the Avalanche might steal the momentum and get things on track.

Colorado got a key power play kill in the second period that seemed to spark them down 1-0. Several players blocked shots, goalie Alexandar Georgiev made some strong stops and moments later a good thing happened.

Nathan MacKinnon split a couple of Stars defenders and got a shot on net with a lot of velocity. Mikko Rantanen was there to clean up the puck that got past Oettinger, and Ball Arena exploded with the score tied 1-1.

But in a game of swings, another big one happened. Valeri Nichushkin, who had scored in all seven playoff games to this point, beat Oettinger and rang a puck off the post. Dallas weathered the storm, and scored on an odd-man rush to make it 2-1. Seguin finished a perfect pass from Evgenii Dadonov to give the Stars a lead once again.

The first period was relatively uneventful, although the Stars took a lead in the series for a third straight game. A bad turnover by Colorado set up Dallas rookie Logan Stankoven for his first goal of the playoffs. It was 1-0 Stars after one frame.

Game 4 will be in Denver on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. MST, as the NHL finally announced a start time after the Hurricanes forced a Game 5 in their series with the Rangers.

It won’t technically be a must win for the Avs, but they can’t afford to drop two straight at home and fall down 3-1 in the series. They’ll have to solve Oettinger to knot this thing up.

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