DENVER -- Matt Duchene fired the puck into the net at 11:42 of double overtime, then raced down the ice, slid on his knees, drew a heart with his hands and punched a fist through it. Heartbreaker. 

“It was just elation, right?” he said.

The forward gave the Dallas Stars a 2-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round at Ball Arena on Friday, sending them to the conference final for the second straight season.

Duchene did it after he was called for goalie interference at 12:31 of the first overtime, wiping out what could have been the winning goal by teammate Mason Marchment.

And the story goes even deeper than that.

The Avalanche selected Duchene No. 3 in the 2009 NHL Draft. He spent more than eight seasons in Colorado before he was traded to the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 5, 2017.

After stints with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators, Duchene was bought out by the Predators. He signed a one-year contract with the Stars on July 1, looking for a chance to win, hoping to be one of the final pieces of a championship team.

Now the 33-year-old, a veteran of 1,056 regular-season games who had only been to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs once before, is going to the conference final.

“He’s a great guy, and he’s very much a team guy,” Marchment said. “For him to get one against his old team, it means the world to him, and we love to see it as teammates. Hopefully, he keeps it rolling for the next round, and I loved the celebration.”

DAL@COL R2, Gm6: Duchene roofs rebound in 2OT, wins series for Stars

Imagine the emotional swing for the Stars after Marchment’s goal was disallowed.

“Honestly, it’s indescribable,” Marchment said. “You’re so happy, and you see all the boys hopping over the bench. And then I look over, and he’s kind of waving it off.”

Marchment studied the replay on a tablet on the ice next to the Dallas bench while the officials huddled near the penalty boxes. After a few moments came the final word: no goal.

“I think you just stay with it,” Duchene said. “It obviously can be a little tough to reset after you think it’s over and hope it’s over. It’s kind of a gut punch a little bit. But that’s kind of what we do. No matter what is thrown our way, we’re a pretty even keel group. Everyone just reset and kept going.”

The Stars felt confident and determined in the dressing room after the first overtime.

“I think the comment that stuck with me was, ‘We’re going to win this game because we’re the better team,’” Dallas forward Joe Pavelski said. “You could feel it on the bench out there. It felt like we were having the zone time. We were wearing them out. We were playing the four lines. I think we believed in that and that it would come.”

After the Stars lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in the conference final and watched them go on to win the Cup last season, they bolstered their roster. Early in the regular season, they adopted the motto “a little less for a lot more.” In other words, they would use their depth as a strength, everyone sacrificing for the greater good.

It paid off Friday.

The Avalanche were more rested, after defeating the Winnipeg Jets in five games in the first round and getting a break before the second round. The Stars defeated the Golden Knights in seven games in the first round and had been playing every other day for 13 straight games.

But it was Dallas that had the legs in two overtimes in Game 6 of the second round. The Stars outshot the Avalanche 15-9 over the 31:42 of OT. Jason Robertson led Dallas forwards in ice time with 27:48. Five Colorado forwards played more than that, with Nathan MacKinnon reaching 36:32 and Mikko Rantanen 35:05.

“They have some people that are borderline superhumans over there, but at some point, you might hit a wall,” Duchene said. “I remember yelling down the bench halfway through the first OT, ‘You know, the longer this goes, the more it benefits us.’ Our depth, that’s our strength, and it’s been our strength since Day One.”

In the end, it was Duchene, an added depth piece yearning to make a difference, who made a difference. He had 65 points (25 goals, 40 assists) in 80 games in the regular season, but he had only nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his final 22 games. He had five points (one goal, four assists) in 12 playoff games entering Friday.

“Really happy for ‘Dutchy,’” Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said. “He’s ridden the confidence roller coaster here the second half and in the playoffs -- really some high highs and some low lows.”

Duchene said he appreciates this more than he might have when he was younger.

“I’ve probably let it stress me out more than it’s been fun at times, just because you want it so bad,” he said. “But I’m starting to relax a little bit more, and it’s getting a lot more fun as it’s going here.”