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game recap

Avalanche top Stars in Game 3 of West Second Round, first win of series

Score three straight after blowing two-goal lead, falling behind in third period

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

Kadri's go-ahead tip-in

COL@DAL, Gm3: Kadri reclaims lead on tip-in

R2, Gm3: Nazem Kadri drifts across the slot and tips home a point shot form Kevin Connauton, reestablishing the Avalanche lead

  • 00:44 •

Nazem Kadri scored the tiebreaking goal, part of a six-goal third period, and the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Dallas Stars 6-4 in Game 3 for their first win of the Western Conference Second Round series at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Wednesday.

Kadri redirected a wrist shot by Kevin Connauton at 13:54 for a 5-4 lead after Mikko Rantanen scored for Colorado to tie the game 4-4 at 12:02.

Dallas scored three straight goals in a span of 6:05 in the third period to take a 4-3 lead.

It was the first time in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs that a team had a two-goal lead in the third period, fell behind, and then restored its two-goal lead. 

"I think it's a character win," Kadri said. "It would have been easy for us to get down on ourselves, but we understand we can score goals … we're pretty comfortable playing in every situation. Obviously blowing the lead, it wasn't our best, but this is a game that can definitely give us some momentum and hopefully change a series."

Kadri, Rantanen and Nikita Zadorov each had a goal and an assist, and Cale Makar had three assists for the Avalanche, the No. 2 seed in the West. Pavel Francouz made 33 saves.

Colorado center Nathan MacKinnon had two assists and leads the NHL with 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in the postseason. He has scored at least one point in all 11 games.

Game 4 of the best-of-7 series, scheduled for Friday, was postponed  and will be played Sunday (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1, SN360, TVAS) in Edmonton, the West hub city.

"For us, it's gut-check time," Makar said. "Obviously, it's not how we drew it up going into the third period like that. We get some unfortunate bad breaks. I think we just stuck to our game, we kind of trusted that it would pull through. … I know everybody believes in this group; it's just about being able to go out there and execute."

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Stars Game 3 highlights]

 

Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist, and Anton Khudobin made 26 saves for the Stars, the No. 3 seed. It was their first loss in six games.

"Listen, we went into this, there's no chance we thought we were going to sweep this club," Dallas coach Rick Bowness said. "It's a very good team. We thought it'd be a six-, seven-game series. Hopefully, we don't get there, but if we get there, we get there. We're not going to dominate that club, they're too good, too talented."

Denis Gurianov scored to get the Stars within 3-2 at 4:42 of the third.

Blake Comeau, who played three seasons for the Avalanche from 2015-18, one-timed a loose puck near the top of the right face-off circle to tie it 3-3 at 9:02.

Benn deflected a shot by Esa Lindell at 10:47 to put Dallas ahead 4-3.

"Pretty crazy," Benn said. "Obviously being down two goals going into the third, you got to make a push, and I thought we had a great one. Back and forth, the ups and downs of the playoffs, we had them on the ropes. They're a good team; they came back, scored a couple of quick ones, and that was that. I liked our push, but we need it for 60 minutes."

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar called a timeout after Comeau tied the game, but the Stars look the lead 1:45 later on Benn's goal.

"Did they show me something after that? I would say yes," Bednar said. "… Today, I could feel it on the bench we were still in the game, still playing, needing something good to happen, needing to get rewarded, and [MacKinnon] and [Rantanen] end up making a play (on the tying goal), kind of giving us life again, and we had a good strong finish to the game. So kudos to our guys for giving it a full 60 or more if that's what it takes."

Video: Avalanche stave off Stars for wild 6-4 win in Game 3

Tyler Seguin gave Dallas a 1-0 lead at 11:12 of the first.

Zadorov scored from the point to tie it 1-1 at 1:00 of the second, and Andre Burakovsky gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead at 4:41.

Gabriel Landeskog scored off the rebound of a shot by Makar to make it 3-1 at 11:00.

"It's a matter of just character in this room and on the bench," Landeskog said. "We understood how big this game was going to be tonight and how pivotal it would be and we got ourselves a series."

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored into an empty net with 1:34 left for the 6-4 final. It was his first goal in 42 NHL playoff games.

"We play to the last whistle," Kadri said. "I think that's been pretty evident thus far in the playoffs, and we never really think a game is over until it actually is over."

NOTES: Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen had an assist on Seguin's goal and has 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in the postseason. That ties the Dallas/Minnesota North Stars playoff record for a defenseman in a single postseason (Craig Hartsburg, 1981). … MacKinnon became the 11th player in NHL history to begin a postseason with a point streak of at least 11 games and the first since Johan Franzen in 2010 with the Detroit Red Wings (12 games). … Avalanche forward Joonas Donskoi (unfit to play) was replaced in the lineup by Logan O'Connor, who made his NHL playoff debut. … Zadorov sustained an injury and did not play after 9:31 of the second period, but he remained on the bench in the third. There was no update.

NHL.com staff writer Tracey Myers contributed to this report

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