Avalanche: Colorado Wins Again, Forces Game Seven Against Stars

Needless to say, the Colorado Avalanche are rolling right now. They blew open the doors on their series with a Game Six win Wednesday, forcing a Game Seven against the Dallas Stars for Friday night in Edmonton.

Colorado took Game Six by a final score of 4-1, tying the series as three games each. They staved off elimination with a Game Five win Monday.

Now, it could go either way. The statistics back that up, as teams that have won Game Five and Game Six after trailing a series are 29-28 when it comes to Game Seven.

For Colorado specifically, they are 6-8 in Game Sevens and just 4-7 since relocating to Denver after their run in Quebec. In the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, they lost to the San Jose Sharks in Game Seven of the second round. That was head coach Jared Bednar’s first Game Seven behind the bench.

The Dallas Stars are 5-8 in Game Sevens and 2-4 in Game Sevens since relocating to Dallas. Last year, they lose in a Game Seven to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues. In that contest, goalie Ben Bishop made a whopping 52 saves.

Dallas has lost its past three Game Sevens, while Colorado has lost its past four.

“In terms of Game Seven, it’s my third one,” Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon said. “I guess I haven’t won one yet. Looking to change that in a couple days here. Excited for the challenge. It’s going to be the toughest game for us to win.”

MacKinnon is on a 14-game point streak in the bubble and he’ll hope to keep it going Friday. He’s tied with Mark Messier and Bobby Orr for the second-longest playoff point streak in NHL history. Bryan Trottier is atop the leaderboard with an 18-game playoff point streak.

It was the play of goalie Michael Hutchinson, Colorado’s third-stringer, that turned the tide Wednesday. He stopped 27 shots in just his second playoff start. With Philipp Grubauer and backup Pavel Francouz out, the focus has turned to the 30-year-old.

Anton Khudobin had 20 saves in a losing effort for the Stars. He’s in goal with Ben Bishop deemed unfit to play. Jake Oettinger dressed as the backup Wednesday. Bishop remains a mystery for now, but he was pulled Monday after allowing five goals on 19 shots.

Image: NHL

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