If the NHL playoffs had opened Tuesday, the Dallas Stars and Avalanche would have begun a first-round series between the Central Division’s Nos. 2 and 3 seeds. But since it was at the Pepsi Center, it was the fourth and final regular-season meeting between the rivals.
Overtime was required, and in a heated affair that looked playoff-angry, the Stars skated off with the extra point after defenseman Esa Lindell scored with a wrist shot off a faceoff 1:54 into the extra session for a 3-2 Dallas victory.
It was another blown third-period lead for the Avs, who fell to 4-7-3 in their last 14 games. They led 2-0 early and 2-1 after two periods but fell to 1-4-2 in their last seven home games.
The Stars’ Jason Dickinson scored on his own rebound to tie it 2-2 with 5:23 remaining in regulation.
Goalie Philipp Grubauer (27 saves) took the loss for the Avs. Denver-born Ben Bishop (41 saves) got the win for Dallas.
As usual, the Avs had a big first period at home. They produced 16-of-20 shots in the period and took a 2-0 lead into intermission.
Nikita Zadorov opened with a gift goal off the stick of Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen, who was playing the pass and inadvertently redirected the puck into his own net at 9:04. Landeskog doubled the lead at 15:27 when he redirected a long shot from MacKinnon.
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But Dallas controlled the second period and capitalized on penalties to Tyson Jost and Mikko Rantanen, but only one of the power-play goals counted. The first was overturned on a coach’s challenge for offside — Jamie Benn entered the offensive zone early — but the second one sliced Colorado’s lead in half when Denis Gurianov found a hole through defenseman Ryan Graves and Grubauer.
Footnotes. The Stars’ Corey Perry served the final game of his five-game suspension for elbowing Ryan Ellis at the Winter Classic in Dallas on Jan. 1. … The Avs’ scratches were defenseman Mark Barberio and forward Joonas Donskoi (concussion). Donskoi skated in a red, noncontact sweater Tuesday morning and could be close to a return.
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports