akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

DALLAS — The Colorado Avalanche were knocked down, took a standing eight count, and barely made it to the bell at the end of the first period. But like the champion prizefighter that this team was not too long ago, it withstood the worst possible start of their latest series and, somehow, produced one of the more improbable knockout punches of the Stanley Cup Playoffs so far.

Miles Wood scored on a breakaway with just under nine minutes left in overtime as the Avalanche stormed back from a 3-0 deficit at the end of the first period to stun the Dallas Stars 4-3 in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals series inside American Airlines Center on Tuesday evening.

Valeri Nichuskin and Cale Makar scored in the second period to start the comeback for Colorado before Nathan MacKinnon tied the game just 39 seconds into the third period. Goalkeeper Alexander Georgiev made only 19 saves for the Avalanche, but six of those came in the overtime session where Dallas had a number of gilt-edged chances on goal to try and end the game.

“It’s not an ideal spot when we are playing down from three goals, but it was a closer game at that point than the score indicated,” Makar said. “A couple of goals went off of us, and one went off my stick. At the end of the day, it’s playoff hockey, and there is just no quit. If you are going to look at this game I feel like, as a group, we just stuck with it and grinded it out and found a way to win it.”

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Tuesday evening’s contest, with photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 12 pictures in total.

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Tags : Colorado AvalancheDallas StarsNational Hockey LeagueStanley Cup Playoffs

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