Avs Beat Stars In OT, Head Home With 2-0 Series Lead
Just like two years ago, the Colorado Avalanche have won the first two games in their first-round Western Conference playoffs series against Dallas.
This time, the Avalanche haven't even been home yet.
Joe Sakic scored his NHL playoff-record seventh overtime goal Monday night, tipping in John-Michael Liles' slap shot from the point past goalie Marty Turco at 4:36 of the extra period to give seventh-seeded Colorado a 5-4 victory.
"I didn't do much," said Sakic, the Avalanche captain. "I was just trying to get a screen in there. He shot it, and it just went off my stick."
Sakic broke a tie with former Montreal star Maurice "Rocket" Richard for the most overtime goals in the playoffs. It was Sakic's 79th goal in 12 playoff seasons.
"It was the kind of overtime goal you expect," Liles said. "It was a rolling puck and I just got as much on it as I could."
The game winner came only seconds after Dallas' Jason Arnott hit the post at the other end, a puck that got past Jose Theodore put not in the net.
"I knew Jason has a really hard shot, so I give him the glove side," said Theodore, who had 18 saves. "He still beat me. I couldn't get over in time, because he has a rocket."
Game 3 of the Western Conference series is Wednesday night in Denver.
Colorado has won 11 straight playoff series after taking a 2-0 lead, including 2004 when they won the first two at home against Dallas before winning the series in five games.
The Stars haven't come back from an 0-2 deficit since their first playoff series in 1968.
After blowing a 3-0 first-period lead, Colorado forced overtime when Brett Clark scored a short-handed goal with 2:04 left in the third period. The Avalanche got an odd-man rush and Milan Hejduk, who also got an assist on the overtime goal, got the puck to Clark.
"We hoped that maybe we could get a power play ourselves and get the equalizer," Avs coach Joel Quenneville said. "We got lucky."
Stars captain Mike Modano, whose goal with 3 seconds left in the second period made it 4-3, had a backhand swipe that Theodore grabbed with about a minute left in regulation.
"We dug ourselves out of a hole. That's the bright spot. But they just kept coming," Modano said. "We came from behind all year and had solid finishes to games. To lose that one is tough."
At the end of the second period, Modano had waited anxiously, looking up at the replay being shown from multiple angles on the huge videoboards above the ice after the puck ricocheted off his skate and into the net.
After a nearly 5-minute review by NHL officials in the arena and Toronto, referee Marc Joannette confirmed Modano's 52nd career playoff goal.
Jere Lehtinen had a pair of ugly goals 1:04 apart - one that bounced high in the air and over Theodore - and rookie Jussi Jokinen also scored in the second period.
Rob Blake, Andrew Brunette and Hejduk each had a goal and an assist in the first period for Colorado, which scored the last five goals in its 5-2 victory in Game 1 on Saturday.
Turco, who made 18 saves, has allowed at least three goals in all seven of his career playoff games against Colorado. He's given up five goals four times.
"Whether it's Marty or the team, you can't win if you give up five in the playoffs," coach Dave Tippett said.
Alex Tanguay was called for high-sticking with 1:26 left in the second to set up Modano's goal. Time was running out in the period when Janne Ninimaa shot the puck that bounced off Theodore's pad and ricocheted off Modano's skate.
After Jokinen and Lehtinen scored to cut the lead to 3-2 with 15:17 left in the second period, Quenneville called timeout to try to calm his team. It didn't work.
Sixty-four seconds later, Lehtinen took a swipe at the puck, which was blocked and popped up in the air. Theodore had no idea where it was until it fell behind him and bounced into the net to tie the game.
Modano's goal helped make up for his penalty in the first period that got Colorado's early scoring barrage started.
The Avalanche were on a power play after Modano's hooking penalty when Blake's shot from the top of the point made it 1-0 with 12:54 left in the first period.
Less than 2 minutes later, Turco went to the right side of the net to glove a shot by Hejduk. But the puck fell out of the glove, and Hejduk knocked it back out to Brunette for an easy open shot and a 2-0 lead.
Colorado also scored on its next shot, going up 3-0 when Sakic pushed a puck toward the net and it was poked in by Hejduk.
Notes: Turco has allowed at least one first-period goal in all seven of his career playoff games against Colorado. ... Dallas is 4-6 in playoff games at American Airlines Center.