Yesterday, the Dallas Stars scored three goals in four-and-a-half minutes against the Colorado Avalanche to take a 3-0 lead in the first period. Tonight, the Avalanche returned the favor by scoring four goals in two-and-a-half minutes to take a 5-0 lead in the first.
Heading into the game, the biggest news was that Ben Bishop was set to start despite being reported as “unfit to play” earlier in the day. Dallas proceeded to give him absolutely zero support as they were eviscerated in shots on net. Bishop — who definitely did not look 100% — was pulled after letting in four goals on 18 shots, after which the Avalanche scored yet again on their first shot against Anton Khudobin.
The game was over long before the first intermission, with the Avalanche scoring as many goals as the Stars had shots. Joe Pavelski, Miro Heiskanen, and Jamie Benn were each able to find the back on the net later in the game, but it was far too little far too late, with a final score of 6-3 Colorado.
If there’s a silver lining, it’s that the Stars still have a 3-2 series lead. Game 6 is on Wednesday, September 2nd at 7 P.M. CDT.
The Avalanche tested Bishop early and often to begin the game. Shortly after the Stars’ managed their first shot, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored on Colorado’s fifth to open the scoring.
Colorado continued to bring the heat and soon had a power play, courtesy of a penalty called on Alexander Radulov. Bishop and the Stars killed it off successfully, but not much later Andre Burakovsky extended the lead on a rebound.
To rub salt into the wound, Nathan MacKinnon then did Nathan MacKinnon things by one-timing the puck past Bishop. Nazem Kadri then put a fourth past Bishop on a rebound, and Bishop was done for the night.
Of course, it’s hard to blame Bishop too much considering the Stars were doing absolutely nothing to stop the Avalanche. That proved true when Anton Khudobin let in a goal on his first shot against, courtesy of Mikko Rantanen.
We then saw some 4-on-4 time when Radek Faksa and Tyson Jost went to the box for roughing. The Avalanche continued to dominate, although they took mercy on the Stars and chose not to score again. To finish the period, a pair of high-sticking penalties by Corey Perry and Mattias Janmark left the Stars down two men to start the second.
Shots: Colorado 23, Dallas 5
Score: Colorado 5, Dallas 0
After successfully killing the 5-on-3 to begin the middle frame, the Stars then had their own time on the power play after a high-sticking by Conor Timmins. This being the Stars, however, they managed only a single shot on net in those two minutes.
Andrej Sekera had a brief scare about six minutes in when he took a puck to the head, but he quickly returned to the bench. A minute later, Joe Pavelski finally put Dallas on the board:
The Stars immediately followed that up by giving Colorado another shot at a power play, as Khudobin committed a penalty by tripping Gabriel Landeskog. The Stars’ penalty kill stayed perfect, however, preserving their four-goal deficit.
Soon, Colorado went on the power play yet again thanks to a roughing minor by Corey Perry. A minute later, Pavelski and Nazem Kadri each went to the box for slashing, with Kadri picking up an additional minor for unsportsmanlike conduct on top. Nothing resulted from the 4-on-4 time nor the Stars’ power play afterwards. However, Dallas soon had another power play when Samuel Girard went to the box for his own unsportsmanlike conduct minor.
Miro Heiskanen then proceeded to give the Stars some brief hope, providing Dallas their second goal of the game:
...Only for Andre Burakovsky to score his second of the evening just 30 seconds later to reestablish the four-goal deficit. Blake Comeau went to the box for roughing after the goal, and the Stars finished the period all but completely killing off another Colorado power play.
Shots: Colorado 38, Dallas 16
Score: Colorado 6, Dallas 2
If there’s been one constant this series, it’s that the referees have not shied away from their whistles. Ryan Graves went to the box four minutes into the third for tripping, and Dallas got 30 seconds of 5-on-3 thanks to Timmins shooting the puck over the glass. However, Dallas failed to make anything out of their time on the power play, sinking the proverbial dagger in what was already a corpse.
Halfway through the third, Blake Comeau’s night ended early as he received a 10-minute misconduct. That was followed by a slashing call on Bellemare, a cross-checking call on Roope Hintz, a 10-minute misconduct for mouthing off from the bench by Pavelski, and a holding call on Ian Cole. That meant 1:24 of 4-on-4, 36 seconds of 4-on-3 in favor of Dallas, and five seconds of 5-on-4, cut short thanks to a beauty of a goal by Benn:
Rick Bowness then pulled Khudobin to give Dallas the extra attacker with a little less than six minutes left. Miraculously, no one scored during that timeframe for either team as our misery finally came to an end.
Final Shots: Colorado 41, Dallas 34
Final Score: Colorado 6, Dallas 3