DENVER (AP) _ David Aebischer accomplished something Patrick Roy had trouble
with his last few seasons: closing out a playoff series.
Aebischer stopped 21 shots, and Peter Forsberg had a goal and two assists,
helping the Colorado Avalanche finish off the Dallas Stars with a 5-1 victory
Colorado had lost five straight potential clinching games, including three
consecutive in a first-round loss to Minnesota last year. Roy was in goal for
each one, allowing at least three goals three times.
Aebischer made sure the Avalanche didn't give the Stars any chances in his
first playoff series as Roy's replacement. He stopped 62 of 65 shots the final
two games after giving up four goals in Game 3 _ Dallas' only win _ and had a
1.83 goals-against average.
``We have been talking about his confidence and poise all year, and that is
the way to describe him,'' Avalanche coach Tony Granato said. ``He has been
like that all year. He backed it up and played extremely solid and consistent
and very confidently.''
He certainly had plenty of help.
Forsberg scored in the second period and had two assists in the third to
extend his playoff point streak to 11 games. Milan Hejduk scored for the third
straight game after ending the season on a 13-game goal-less streak
Rookie Marek Svatos had three assists to give him six points in the series
after playing just four regular-season games.
Joe Sakic scored his fourth goal of the series into an empty net with 4:56
left, and Steve Konowalchuk had his third of the series midway through the
Even grinding forward Darby Hendrickson got into the act after managing just
two goals during the regular season.
``The mentality of trying to maintain a killer instinct, you need to have
that in the playoffs,'' Avalanche forward Dan Hinote said. ``We felt we did
Dallas got off to a good start for once, but couldn't keep it going.
The Stars put pressure on Aebischer early and got a goal from Chris Therien
5:39 in, then went back to the tentative approach that plagued them throughout
Dallas managed just 22 shots and most of those were from the perimeter _
just like in the first four games. The Stars finished the series with 10 goals,
and Therien was their top goal scorer with two after getting just one in the
``Going into the series, if you'd said that our top goal scorer was going to
be Chris Therien, that would be all you would need to know,'' Stars coach Dave
But it wasn't just the offense.
Marty Turco was one of the league's best goalies during the regular season
with 37 wins and a 1.98 goals-against average, but he was nowhere near that
good against the Avalanche. Turco allowed five goals twice in the series and at
least three goals in each game.
``This is difficult to swallow right now,'' Turco said. ``You want to make a
difference and I did in the series. It just wasn't a positive effect.''
Dallas got the early lead on Therien's goal, then Colorado took over.
Hendrickson, in the lineup because of Alex Tanguay's bruised leg from Game
4, scored with 1:03 left in the first period on a rebound after Turco blocked
Konowalchuk gave Colorado its first lead on a power play 1:41 into the
second period on a shot that caromed off Stars defenseman Philippe Boucher's
skate through Turco's legs.
That was a bad break. The next goal, by Forsberg 42 seconds into the third
period, was just a bad play by Turco.
Forsberg weaved his way through Dallas' defense, then flipped a soft
backhander at Turco from a tough angle. Turco appeared to have the shot stopped
underneath him, but the puck squirted into the goal when he rolled onto his
``The puck was sitting on my leg and for whatever reason I decided to roll
over before the whistle went,'' Turco said. ``It was a backbreaker for us at
that point of our season and at that point of the game.''