The Stars have a history of getting behind in recent playoff series.

They also have a history of coming back and winning them.

Dallas has trailed in each of its past five series under head coach Pete DeBoer. Last season, the Stars were down 2-1 to Minnesota, 2-1 to Seattle and 3-0 to Vegas. They were also down 2-0 to Vegas in this year’s First Round and are now in a 1-0 hole to Colorado.

But in three of the previous four series, Dallas rallied to win. The Stars beat the Wild in six and the Kraken in seven last spring and just finished off the Golden Knights in seven this year. Heck, it even pushed Vegas to six games last year by winning Games 4 and 5. So, bottom line, they’ve been here before.

“It’s not ideal, and it’s definitely not the plan,” said DeBoer. “But that is the situation and we have to deal with it and make sure we respond and have a good Game 2, and I have no doubt we will.”

Pete DeBoer on needing his leaders to score more

Dallas took a 3-0 lead against Colorado in the first period and almost made it 4-0 before Josh Manson stopped a Jamie Benn shot on the goal line in the dying seconds of the period. The Avalanche then battled back and tied things up on the strength of two power play goals. Colorado has hit on 44.4 percent of its power plays, so that’s definitely an issue for the Stars. Dallas allowed the sixth fewest power play goals during the regular season at 43, but it is going against a Colorado team that ranked second with 68 power play goals for.

“We’ve got to stay pushing forward,” said forward Matt Duchene. “A couple wrong decisions at the wrong time can be the difference. Five-on-five, I thought we did a pretty good job, but if you give up two to their power play . . . the big thing is keeping them off the power play.”

Matt Duchene speaks to the media after Game 1

To do that, the Stars need to be better at controlling the puck. Dallas had just three shots on goal in the second period and four in the third period, and that typically means it's chasing the game. When you defend too much, you often take penalties. So a big challenge for the Stars in Game 2 will be to control the puck and play in the Avalanche’s end of the ice.

“When we get that kind of start, we have to stay with that game plan,” said forward Joe Pavelski. “There are going to be momentum changes, we know that, but it’s understanding those situations and how to handle them. You know that team is dangerous, so you can’t take your foot off the gas. You’ve just got to be better.”

Joe Pavelski on winning tight playoff games

And the Stars say they expect to be. Dallas was very good in Game 2 against Vegas, and lost when the Golden Knights broke a 1-1 tie in the final two minutes of the second period.

“There’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves,” said Duchene. “We’ve been in this position before and this time we want to make sure we split. That’s a high-octane team over there. I think we can do a better job throughout the 60 minutes imposing our game on them.”

They have shown in past series that they can do exactly that.

“One thing about our group is I don’t think we’ve ever been overwhelmed by the situation,” DeBoer said. “It’s one game. We lost in overtime and we could have won. It’s a little early for ‘the sky is falling.’”

Key Numbers

Stars captain Jamie Benn has 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists) in nine career playoff games against Colorado.

Colorado has outscored opponents 14-4 in playoff third periods. Dallas has been outscored 4-3 in playoff third periods.

39 years, 107 days
Stars defenseman Ryan Suter scored a goal in Game 1 at age 39 years, 107 days. He is the oldest defenseman to score a playoff goal in franchise history, eclipsing Craig Ludwig, who was 38 years, 87 days when he scored in the 1999 Stanley Cup Final.

He Said It

“On the D thing, I know there’s a lot of drama around it, but if we were dressing 11-7 and overplaying some forwards a few more minutes a game, we don’t get all of those questions. You’re one game into the Second Round of the playoffs. I don’t quite get the drama about this.”

- Stars coach Pete DeBoer on his decisions to play mostly five defensemen and use Nils Lundkvist sparingly in the playoffs

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika.

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