On the brink
Colorado scores seven goals to take a 3-2 series advantage
Posted: Sunday May 30, 1999 08:56 PM
Even without two of their top scorers, the Colorado Avalanche scored their most goals of the postseason in beating the Dallas Stars 7-5 Sunday, putting them within a victory of the Stanley Cup finals.
The Avalanche lead the Western Conference finals 3-2 and have two chances to eliminate the Stars beginning with Game 6 Tuesday night in Denver. If a seventh game is needed, it will be Friday night in Dallas.
"This gives us some momentum, but the next game is the most important -- it's in our building with a chance to put them away," said rookie Chris Drury, who had his second straight game-winning goal.
Fleury, Colorado's second-leading scorer, had the flu and could be back Tuesday night. The Avalanche won't get back Hejduk, their fifth-best scorer, as he broke his collarbone Friday night.
The Stars couldn't take advantage of their absence, and they didn't do much with leads of 2-1 or 3-2. Dallas did score twice within 1:15 in the third period to tie the game at 5, but again it slipped away.
Drury knocked in a rebound with 6:44 to play two minutes later to make it 6-5 Colorado. Peter Forsberg scored into an empty net with 33.9 seconds left to give the Avalanche seven goals for the first time in 17 playoff games.
Drury's goal was his second straight game-winner and fourth of the playoffs, tying an NHL rookie record.
"We all needed to pick it up and do something extra," said Forsberg, who also had two assists to boost his playoff-leading point total to 23. "A lot of guys chipped in. Chris made a couple of great plays."
Playing 38 hours after Drury's overtime goal in Game 4 tied the series, Colorado forced Dallas to play an up-tempo game. The result was wave after wave of odd-man rushes gainst Stars goaltender Ed Belfour.
"We got away from our game a little bit," Stars captain Derian Hatcher said. "It was a run-and-gun game and we fell into it."
Belfour, playing in his 100th career playoff game, gave up two goals in each period. He'd only had four two-goal periods in his previous 72 periods this postseason.
"You leave them in the open ice like that, they can make some plays and dominate a game," Dallas' Mike Modano said.
The Stars led 2-1 and 3-2, but couldn't sustain it. Their biggest push came after Valeri Kamensky's second goal gave the Avalanche a 5-3 lead with 13:34 left.
A goal by Mike Keane that was waved off because he kicked the puck into the net got Dallas' 17,001 fans going. They erupted again when Brett Hull fired the puck past Patrick Roy to make it 5-4, and 1:15 later Roy kicked in a wraparound by Pat Verbeek to tie the game with 9:03 left.
The Stars had turned third-period deficits into victories five times this postseason, but they couldn't do it this time.
"It was one of those games where you claw your way back, then -- boom -- the puck is in the net again," Dallas defenseman Shawn Chambers said.
Kamensky, who missed Game 4 with a wrist injury, scored twice and had an assist. Adam Deadmarsh and Sandis Ozolinsh each had a goal and an assist. Joe Sakic had three assists and Dale Hunter and Aaron Miller each had one assist.
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