Stars Win Game 1 as Radulov, MacKinnon Score 2, and Aves Lose Grubauer

 RecordGoaltenderGAA / SV%
Dallas Stars5-4-0Anton Khudobin3.05 / .906
Colorado Avalanche6-1-1Pavel Francouz3.64 / .900

TLDR: Stars take Game 1 by score of 5-3 as Radulov (DAL) and MacKinnon (COL) both tally two goals, Aves goaltender Grubauer suffers lower-body injury, and Khudobin stands tall for Dallas.


Saturday night marked the official start of the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We started with 24 teams and now we are left with the final eight who are vying for a chance to win the ultimate trophy in sports. The Dallas Stars and the Colorado Avalanche (after relocating) have won one and two Stanley Cups, respectively, and have met numerous times in the post-season (four times to be exact). The two teams have an extremely long history, dating back to the North Stars/Nordiques era. Despite being shutout 4-0 to the Aves in the round robin tournament, the Stars have won four of their last 5 meetings, and 13 of their last 21 (mcubed). But Colorado is full of high-power talent, and perhaps have the greatest scoring depth of all remaining eight teams.


Early on, the Aves got a number of good chances, including a high-danger chance from Andre Burakovsky. Since joining Colorado, Burakovsky has 20 goals and 25 assists for 45 points (58GP). At the four-minute mark exactly Tyler Seguin gave the Stars an early 1-0 lead, with his first of the post-season.

One minute and four seconds later, Nathan MacKinnon answered right back to tie it up. The tying goal marked MacKinnon’s 5th of the post-season. Goaltender Anton Khudobin didn’t even see Mac’s shot until the puck was behind him.

The first power play of the evening went to the Stars, as Ryan Graves went off for high-sticking. Graves was Colorado’s top defenseman with a +40 rating. The Aves would kill off the penalty, however. Off a deflection, Blake Comeau re-instated Dallas’ lead.

With 3:32 remaining, Alexander Radulov increased the Stars lead by two as he made it 3-1 with his 3rd of the post-season.

Mattias Janmark was called for hooking at the 17:19 mark of the first so Colorado would receive their first man-advantage. The Aves had tallied 6 PPG’s against the Coyotes during their series, but Dallas didn’t allow one this time. Colorado outshot Dallas 14 to 7, but Dallas led with three goals.

Erik Johnson, after leaving play to be evaluated following an uncomfortable fall in the first, returned at the start of the second. At the 1:16 mark of the middle period, Nazem Kadri went off for tripping against Esa Lindell. Aves goaltender Philipp Grubauer suffered a gruesome injury to his leg with 10 seconds remaining, to no fault of anyone, and as a result Pavel Francouz came back in to relieve him. Shortly thereafter, Gabe Landeskog made it 3-2 with his 1st of the post-season. A juicy rebound off Francouz from Seguin ended up on Radulov’s stick and behind the Colorado goaltender to give the Stars a 4-2 lead with 10:48 remaining.

With just over two minutes remaining in the period, Denis Gurianov was sent to the penalty box for high-sticking and Ryan Graves for tripping, and thus play resumed as 4-on-4. Nathan MacKinnon scored his second of the game after a shot by Samuel Girard redirected off him to again cut into Dallas’ lead. Still, Dallas would lead 4-3 heading into the 3rd period.

Erik Johnson did not return for the start of the final frame, but just under four minutes into the period, retuned to the bench. Colorado was narrowly outshooting Dallas to start, 27 to 24, but trailed by one. Roope Hintz gave his team a 5-3 lead at the 8:47 mark, and as a result got their two-goal lead back.

With just over seven minutes remaining and the Avalanche trailing by two, the Stars did a commendable job at keeping play in the Aves defensive zone and maintaining pressure on their defense. Khudobin and the guys in front played a very safe game as they tried to keep their lead, but Colorado was desperate to draw closer. With 3:24 remaining, Colorado bench boss Jared Bednar elected to pull Francouz for the extra skater. Neither team converted on their respective power plays, and between the two teams a total of 91 hits were thrown.


TXHT’s Three Takeaways of the Game

  1. Dallas should not be under-estimated.
  2. Losing Philipp Grubauer isn’t a death sentence when you have a backup like Pavel Francouz.
  3. Special teams may be the difference-maker.

Below is the remaining schedule for DAL v COL:

Monday August 24 @ 9:45pm

Wednesday August 26 @ 10:30pm

Friday August 28 @ 10:00pm

Sunday August 30 @ TBD

Monday August 31 @ TBD

Wednesday September 2 @ TBD

References:

Mcubed. (2020). NHL : Series records : Dallas Stars against Colorado Avalanche. Retrieved from http://mcubed.net/nhl/dal/col.shtml.

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