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GAME: Colorado Avalanche (43-30-9) at Dallas Stars (53-23-6).
PLAYOFF SERIES: Western Conference quarterfinals. Game 2; Avalanche lead 1-0.
TIME: Monday, 9 p.m. EDT.
Dallas Stars coach Dave Tippett may have summed it up best following his team's 5-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday to open the Western Conference quarterfinals.
"Hopefully this is a real good slap in the face for us," Tippett said. "The level of urgency has to be turned up several octaves now."
Tippett hopes for a better showing Monday in Game 2 when the second-seeded Stars look to even the series with the seventh-seeded Avs at American Airlines Center.
Dallas, which entered the playoffs on a 15-5-3 run but lost its final two games to Detroit and Columbus, took a 2-0 first-period lead Saturday on goals by Brenden Morrow and Bill Guerin and looked to be in position to snap a four-game losing streak in playoff series openers dating to 2001.
However, Avalanche goaltender Jose Theodore had other ideas.
Theodore, making just his sixth start for Colorado since being traded from Montreal in March and recovering from a heel fracture, stopped the final 14 shots he faced after Guerin's goal including nine in the third period.
"I felt really good even though we got two goals down," Theodore said. "I felt in control. We didn't panic. I knew if we could keep going the same way we were, we'd be able to get a couple of goals."
Colorado countered with five unanswered goals, highlighted by power-play tallies by Rob Blake and John-Michael Liles that capped a three-goal second period.
Rookie Wojtek Wolski added a goal and two assists and captain Joe Sakic had a pair of helpers to fuel an offense that held a 31-18 advantage in shots.
"We felt pretty good today, and we'll feel good tomorrow," said Sakic, who played in his 154th career playoff game to tie Adam Foote for the franchise record. "We're pretty excited about winning, but Monday we have Game 2."
Stars goalie Marty Turco, who went 3-1-0 with a 2.41 goals-against average versus the Avalanche during the regular season, made 26 saves to drop to just 1-5-0 with a 3.58 GAA in his playoff career against Colorado.
"It's all about stopping pucks for me and whether you are ahead or behind, I just care about stopping pucks," said Turco, who is 6-6-0 with a 1.88 GAA versus the rest of the league in the postseason. "I think this is a reminder of how hard it is to win. We need to realize that it is going to take a better effort from everybody in order to bounce back on Monday."
Dallas is 11-5 in Game 2s since 1998, including a 2-1 mark against Colorado, whom it beat in seven games in both the 1999 and 2000 conference finals after losing Game 1.
The lone Game 2 defeat to the Avalanche came in 2004, when the Stars lost in five games in the conference quarterfinals.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Avalanche - 95 points; 7th seed. Stars - 112 points; 2nd seed.
PLAYOFF TEAM LEADERS: Avalanche - Five players, tied with 1 goal; Four players, tied with 2 assists; Wolski, 3 points; Four players, tied with 2 PIM. Stars - Guerin and Morrow, 1 goal; Four players, tied with 1 assist; Six players, tied with 1 point; Antti Miettinen, 4 PIM.
PLAYOFF SPECIAL TEAMS: Avalanche - Power play: 28.6 percent (2 for 7). Penalty killing: 100.0 percent (5 for 5). Stars - Power play: 0.0 percent (0 for 5). Penalty killing: 71.4 percent (5 for 7).
GOALTENDERS: Avalanche - Theodore (1-0, 2.00 GAA); Peter Budaj (NR). Stars - Turco (0-1, 5.00); Johan Hedberg (NR).
LAST MEETING: Saturday; Avalanche, 5-2. At Dallas, Blake and Liles scored power-play goals 2:04 apart during a three-goal second period and Wolski had a goal and two assists to back Theodore, who made 16 saves. Morrow and Guerin scored for the Stars.
|Apr 22 '06||COL 5 at DAL 2|
|Apr 24 '06||COL 5 at DAL 4 - OT|
|Apr 26 '06||DAL 3 at COL 4 - OT|
|Apr 28 '06||DAL 4 at COL 1|
|Apr 30 '06||COL 3 at DAL 2 - OT|