Cale Makar, Avs down Stars in Game 5, extend series

Cale Makar, Avs down Stars in Game 5, extend series

Defenseman Cale Makar scored two goals on Wednesday, helping the visiting Colorado Avalanche stave off elimination with a 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

The Stars hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series heading into Game 6 on Friday in Denver.

Colorado’s Artturi Lehkonen and Nathan MacKinnon each collected a goal and an assist and Casey Mittelstadt also tallied. Alexandar Georgiev made 23 saves to help the Avalanche snap a three-game skid.

“It’s still 3-2 them (in the series),” MacKinnon said. “They’re still in the driver’s seat and we’re still desperate. It’s do-or-die again on home ice. We’ve been good there all year, the last two weren’t great, but hopefully we can fix that.”

Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen added, per Altitude TV, “Good team effort, gutsy road win. Now we have to reset right away so we can ride this wave.”

Joe Pavelski recorded a goal and an assist and Miro Heiskanen and Logan Stankoven also scored for the Stars. Jason Robertson notched two assists and Jake Oettinger turned aside 22 shots for Dallas, which played without three-time 30-goal scorer Roope Hintz (upper body).

“This is a hard league to beat any team four times in a row, never mind the Colorado Avalanche when you’re in the conference semifinals and you’re down to eight teams in the league,” Dallas coach Peter DeBoer said. “You have to give them credit. They played a real good road game. Now we have to go down there and respond.”

Stationed below the goal line, Mittelstadt banked the puck off Oettinger and into the net at 1:12 of the third period to give Colorado a 3-2 edge, the Avalanche’s first lead of the night. It was Mittelstadt’s third goal of the postseason and second in as many games.

Makar, who scored a power-play goal late in the second period, doubled the lead at 4:28 of the third after his shot from the right circle handcuffed Oettinger.

Stankoven halved the deficit by deflecting defenseman Esa Lindell’s point shot past Georgiev at 5:44 of the third period, his third of the playoffs.

MacKinnon restored the two-goal edge at 16:50, wiring a shot past Oettinger for his fourth of the postseason.

Pavelski said, “We need to bounce back as a group. Forwards, we can do a little better job. (Defense), up and down the lineup. There’s more out there for us.”

In the first period, Robertson’s aggressive forecheck forced a turnover and sent the puck to Matt Duchene, whose one-touch pass found Pavelski on the doorstep for an easy conversion to open the scoring at 9:03. It was Pavelski’s first in the playoffs.

Lehkonen forged a 1-1 tie with 0.6 seconds remaining in the first period after converting a power-play one-timer from MacKinnon for his sixth goal of the postseason.

Heiskanen converted a goalmouth feed from Robertson off a two-on-none advantage to give Dallas a 2-1 lead at 11:39 of the second period. The goal was Heiskanen’s fifth of these playoffs and 15th career of his postseason career to tie Hall of Famer Sergei Zubov and Craig Hartsburg for most by a defenseman in franchise history.

–Field Level Media

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