EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) Faced with the prospects of going home, the Colorado Avalanche got rolling early and often.
It was a flurry that saved their season – for the moment, anyway.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare began a five-goal scoring spree in the first period and the Avalanche avoided second-round elimination with a 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 5 on Monday night.
The Avalanche trail the Stars 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. They’ve never won a series in team history when facing a 3-1 deficit.
Game 6 is Wednesday.
”We just decided to show our best version of ourselves tonight,” Bellemare said. ”We had to show our best self.”
Andre Burakovsky, Nathan MacKinnon, Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen also scored in a 2:36 span to help the Avalanche jump out to a 5-0 lead in the opening period. They never glanced back. The five goals broke the franchise postseason record for a period.
”I like playing under pressure,” said Burakovsky, who also added a goal in the second and had an assist. ”I really enjoy playing those big games.”
Colorado goaltender Michael Hutchinson made an unexpected start as he stepped in for Pavel Francouz, who was deemed by the team unfit to play. Hutchinson earned his first NHL playoff victory by turning back 31 shots.