Stars offense erupts to take Game 1; Grubauer injured for Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche are supposed to be the team that is the offensive juggernaut with the superstar top line that can not be stopped.
While that absolutely has been the case all season -- and still very well can be in this series -- it was the Dallas Stars that filled the back of the net on Saturday night in a 5-3 Game 1 win to open their Second Round series.
The Stars big three of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov played their best collective game of the postseason to help drive the team’s offense in a stunning Game 1 win against an Avalanche team that was starting to look unbeatable.
Seguin opened the scoring just four minutes into the game with his first goal of the postseason to help set the stage for a huge night from the top line.
Along with Seguin’s goal, Benn finished the game with three assists while Radulov scored a pair of goals.
Blake Comeau and Roope Hintz also scored goals for the Stars.
[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]
It continues what has been a completely unexpected offensive surge from the Stars in recent games. During the regular season and the Round Robin phase of the Return To Play the Stars were one of the league’s worst offensive teams. It seemed like it was going to be a huge issue come playoff time, especially in a matchup against a team like Colorado that is capable of lighting up the scoreboard every night.
But since the start of the Stars’ First Round series against the Calgary Flames they have suddenly looked like a completely different team, having now scored 26 goals over their past seven games. Before Saturday a lot of that was happening with minimal contributions from the top line while Miro Heiskanen and the depth forwards helped carry the offense.
If that trio can find a way to get going -- and stay going -- it would be a game-changer for Dallas this postseason.
The other big story to come out of this game is the injury situation for Colorado as defenseman Erik Johnson and starting goalie Philipp Grubauer were both injured.
Johnson was injured early in the first period and could barely get himself off the ice. He attempted to return on more than one occasion but never looked comfortable.
The Grubauer injury looked even more serious.
He exited the game mid-way through the second period with an apparent left leg injury.
After kicking a shot out, Grubauer immediately dropped to the ice and remained there for several moments before being helped off the ice, unable to put any weight on his left leg. He was replaced by backup Pavel Francouz for the remainder of the game. The Avalanche finished the game with third-string goalie Michael Hutchinson on the bench as their backup.
Francouz started 30 games during the regular season with a .923 save percentage.
No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 3 Dallas Stars (Stars lead series 1-0)
Game 1: Stars 5, Avalanche 3
Game 2: Monday, Aug. 24, 9:45 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Game 3: Wednesday, Aug. 26, 10:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Game 4: Friday, Aug. 28, 10 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Game 5: Sunday, Aug. 30 – TBD
*Game 6: Monday, Aug. 31 – TBD
*Game 7: Wednesday, Sept. 2 – TBD