canada africa partner reservation Defense-first Stars confuse Avalanche to win Game 3 for 2-1 series lead

Defense-first Stars confuse Avalanche to win Game 3 for 2-1 series lead


Dallas Stars center Logan Stankoven (11) celebrates his goal against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) in the first period of Game 3 of the second round of the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs in Denver on Saturday, May 11, 2024. Dallas Stars center Roope Hintz (24) skates toward Stankoven as Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) skates away. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

Colorado’s high-flying hockey team has run into a problem it needs to solve, and that’s the defensive acumen of the Dallas Stars.

The Avalanche dominated Game 3 of this second-round playoff series territorially, but not on the scoreboard. Tyler Seguin had a pair of goals and Jake Oettinger made 29 saves Saturday night at Ball Arena to help Dallas prevail 4-1 and regain home field advantage in the series.

The Stars now lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is here Monday night.

Dallas found the lone goal in a choppy first period. Colorado had a few chances to move the puck out of danger, the last of which was a pass from Nathan MacKinnon to Devon Toews, who failed to connect. Miro Heiskanen picked up the ball, delivered a backhanded pass to Logan Stankoven and the rookie squeezed his first Stanley Cup Playoffs goal through Alexandar Georgiev at 18:39 of the period.

Colorado had 25 of 34 shot attempts in the first 20 minutes, but crisp passing sequences were difficult to come by. The Stars also blocked nearly as many shots (10) as those that reached goaltender Jake Oettinger (12). The Avs also had two full power plays in the period and a third that bled without a conversion in the second.

Mikko Rantanen got the Avs on the board halfway through the second period. Devon Toews found MacKinnon at the top of the circles and he ran past Chris Tanev for a backhanded shot. Rantanen was there to clean up the rebound for his third goal of the postseason.

The Avalanche continued to pile on the pressure, but the Stars have already proven to be much more adept at preventing Colorado from stringing together a number of scoring opportunities.