(1C) Stars at (3C) Avalanche

Western Conference Second Round, Game 6

10 p.m. ET; MAX, truTV, TNT, SN1, SN, TVAS

Dallas leads best-of-7 series 3-2

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche will try to even the series when they host the Dallas Stars in Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round at Ball Arena on Friday.

The Avalanche defeated the Stars 5-3 in Game 5 on Wednesday to stay alive. Facing the end of its season, Colorado revived its offense, including a 2-for-2 performance on the power play.

The Avalanche had been held to one goal each in losing Games 3 and 4.

“Pressure is always something that's earned," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "We have high expectations. I feel like we've earned those. I think the pressure comes along with it.

“We didn't handle it great in the beginning of the series at times and [Wednesday] we did, and I think it should give us confidence going into Game 6 that we're able to go play a really good hockey game, even though it's high stakes.”

The Stars feel they missed an opportunity to close the series on home ice Wednesday, but they’re not sweating it too much; they do say they need to narrow their focus instead of looking at the big picture.

“It’s human nature to start thinking about the result maybe a little too soon, and the other team’s just thinking shift by shift and staying in that moment," Dallas center Matt Duchene said. "That’s powerful this time of year and that’s the name of the game. It’s a stressful time of year. It’s fun but it’s stressful. If you put the cart ahead of the horse too far, it doesn’t work.”

Here are 3 keys for Game 6:

1. Oettinger bounce-back

Jake Oettinger is 11-4 following a loss in his Stanley Cup Playoffs career. The Stars goalie usually finds a way to rebound, and that looms large with Dallas attempting to end the series and advance to the Western Conference Final for the second straight season.

“I just think experience and having gone through it before,” Oettinger said. “It’s not always going to be how you draw it up, and obviously I would have loved to have won the last game and be sitting at home right now. But those guys over there won it all [in 2022] and they’re going to be playing for their lives.

“The fourth win is always the hardest. If you would have told us when we were down 2-zip [in the first round] to [the] Vegas [Golden Knights] that we’d be up 3-2 against Colorado in the second round, I think we’d be pretty fired up about that. It’s all about the opportunity tonight. Playoffs are all about forgetting what happened. Every game’s a new opportunity.”

2. Getting a full 60

Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar said Colorado still didn’t play a full 60 minutes in its Game 5 win. That's something the Avalanche will need to do Friday if they want to extend the series.

“There are times I feel like we're just not all there, whether it's in the defensive zone and stuff," Makar said. "Those are going to happen in the course of the game, but at the same time, they can't be five-minute lapses; they can be 30 seconds and so on. We've got to weather it.

"For us, I think, again, it just goes back to work and making sure we're doing the right things, whether it's changing correctly and so on."

3. Relying on the road

This continues to be a strength for Dallas, which is 4-1 away from American Airlines Center during the postseason; the Stars outscored the Golden Knights and Avalanche 16-8 in those five games. Taking three in Denver won’t be easy; Colorado had the best home record in the NHL during the regular season (31-9-1) and will be looking to change its luck after losing the past two at Ball Arena in this series.

“I mean, you always want to be moving forward, you don’t want to get too stuck on games that have happened because I know they’ve moved on over there," Dallas forward Sam Steel said. "I’m sure they’re not thinking about it. It’s nice to know we can win in this building, but at the same time it’s a fresh slate.”

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Wyatt Johnston -- Logan Stankoven

Jason Robertson -- Matt Duchene -- Joe Pavelski

Mason Marchment -- Tyler Seguin -- Evgenii Dadonov

Radek Faksa -- Sam Steel -- Craig Smith

Thomas Harley -- Miro Heiskanen

Esa Lindell -- Chris Tanev

Ryan Suter -- Nils Lundkvist

Jake Oettinger

Scott Wedgewood

Scratched: Ty Dellandrea

Injured: Jani Hakanpaa (lower body), Roope Hintz (upper body)

Avalanche projected lineup

Artturi Lehkonen -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Jonathan Drouin

Zach Parise -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Mikko Rantanen

Miles Wood -- Ross Colton -- Joel Kiviranta

Brandon Duhaime -- Chris Wagner -- Andrew Cogliano

Devon Toews -- Cale Makar

Samuel Girard -- Josh Manson

Jack Johnson -- Sean Walker

Alexandar Georgiev

Justus Annunen

Scratched: Jean-Luc Foudy, Arvid Holm, Caleb Jones, Nikolai Kovalenko, Sam Malinksy, Ivan Prosvetov

Injured: Yakov Trenin (upper body)

Status report

Hintz will miss his second straight game; the top-line center is day to day. ... Hakanpaa, who missed the final 13 games of the regular season and has missed all 13 games in the playoffs, traveled with the Stars but the defenseman is not ready to return. ... Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said there will be no lineup changes from a 5-3 loss in Game 5 on Wednesday. ... Trenin, a forward, is day to day. independent correspondent Ryan Boulding contributed to this report