Wednesday, June 12 2024
Miles Woods

Miles Woods

DALLAS — Miles Wood screamed for the puck, and delivered the game-winner in overtime for the Colorado Avalanche once he got it.

Wood scored on a hard-charging backhander 11:03 into OT after getting the puck from Andrew Cogliano, and the Avalanche, after trailing by three goals in the first period, beat the top-seeded Dallas Stars 4-3 in the opener of their second-round Western Conference series.

“Instead of just turning and firing it … (Cogliano) gets his eyes up and Wood was fresh and went slashing through their D,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “When Woody get’s going like that, he’s hard to stop. He’s fast and he’s powerful, and he just took it to the house.”

Staying ahead of defenseman Miro Heiskanen, Wood got the puck around Jake Oettinger to wrap up only the Avalanche’s third three-goal comeback to win a playoff game in their history – and first since 1997.

“There’s a scrum in the corner there. … I was just screaming ‘Chip, chip, chip.’ He made a great play, and from there on out, I just used my speed,” said Wood, still breathing heavily from the game-winning play. “I definitely kicked it into high gear there.”

Cale Makar had a goal and two assists for Colorado, while Valerie Nichushkin had a goal and an assist. Nathan MacKinnon had the tying goal only 39 seconds into the third period when left open just to the left of the net, and Mikko Rantanen, who had two assists, had a shot off the post midway through the third period.

“It would have been easy to kind of fold after that first period,” MacKinnon said. “But we felt like we were playing better than what the score showed. We wanted to see it through”

Alexander Georgiev had 19 saves while winning his fifth consecutive start in goal for the Avs. But Dallas, after nine shots on net in the first period, had only seven combined the rest of regulation, and six in overtime when he denied Tyler Seguin twice in less than a minute and knocked down a couple of long high shots by Thomas Harley.

“He’s been playing great for us. We’re all so pumped for him,” Wood said of the goalie. “He let in three there in the first quickly, but he was solid from there on out.”

Stars goalie Oettinger stopped 22 shots, ending his six-game streak of allowing two goals or less.

Dallas led 3-0 in the first period against the 2022 Stanley Cup champion, only two nights after wrapping up a seven-game series against Vegas, last year’s champ, in which both teams finished with 16 goals and the margin was never more than two goals.

“It’s a tough turnaround for us as a group. I thought we had a great start,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “The fatigue from Game 7 I thought hit us in the second half of that game.”

Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who lost their series opener at home like in the first round when they dropped the first two games. Ryan Suter and Wyatt Johnston also scored goals.

Game 2 is Thursday night.

Colorado scored 28 goals in five games against Winnipeg, and had gone a full week since wrapping that series up in five games. The Avs had three comeback wins against the Jets, but none of those were from more than one-goal deficits.

It wasn’t the first time this season for the Avalanche to come back from a 3-0 deficit in Dallas. They were down that early in the second period back in November before scoring six unanswered goals in a 6-3 win.

“You can’t take a breath with these guys,” Benn said. “They’re a great team.”

Colorado scored two power-play goals in the second period, with Nichushkin getting his eighth goal of the playoffs, and extending his goal-scoring streak this postseason to six games before assisting on Makar’s goal that got them within 3-2.

Nichushkin, the 10th overall draft pick by Dallas in 2013, knocked in the loose puck after Makar had a shot off Oettinger that Ryan Suter was unable to clear. Makar did get a wrister from about 50 feet into the net on his next shot.

Suter, the 39-year-old defenseman whose 1,444 career regular-season games are the most for any player without winning a Stanley Cup, put the Stars up 1-0 with a 60-footer from near the left boards only 7 1/2 minutes into the game. Georgiev never saw the puck because of all the traffic in front of the net after Suter got a pass from Matt Duchene, who had just gotten up from taking a hit.

The Stars made it 2-0 directly off a faceoff win by Benn, with the 20-year-old Johnston scoring from the top of the left circle for his fifth goal this postseason.

Dallas was on a 5-on-3 power play when Benn scored with three minutes left in the first period by deflected a flying puck into the net.

And the Stars captain almost had another goal in the closing seconds on another power play. He made a nifty move and made a swiping shot while falling down to get the puck behind Georgiev before defenseman Josh Manson knocked it away from the goal line.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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