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Stars eliminate Avalanche with 2OT win in Game 6, reach West Final

Mikko Rantanen scored, and Georgiev made 36 saves for the Avalanche, who were the No. 3 seed from the Central.

“It was tiring, there’s no question,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “You can see our energy level drop as the periods went on, but our guys played hard. They played hard every shift and defended hard.

“They’re a really good team. They’re disciplined. They’re deep. They got great goaltending, [are] well coached. They got everything that you can ask for in a team. They’re a contender in my book. It [stinks]. You put so much into a season as a group and you come up short. It’s never a good feeling.”

Rantanen gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 5:48 of the second period on the power play, roofing a wrist shot short side over the shoulder of Oettinger from below the right circle.

“It’s one of those you feel you played well enough to win the game and force a Game 7, just didn’t happen,” Zach Parise said. “Just a little bit of shock when it ends suddenly like that. it takes some time to process everything, but just tough way to end.”

Benn tied it 1-1 at 1:56 of the third. He received a behind-the-back pass from Evgenii Dadonov in stride and stick-handled past a sprawling Georgiev before scoring on a backhand into the open net.

“We’ve played with the lead a lot this series, and then we got tested here a little bit being down,” Pavelski said. “I think the second period, we weren’t great and we were kind of stubborn as far as putting pucks in and how we needed to kind of create. I think in the third and the overtimes, we were committed to doing it the right way. And we tied this game up by our forecheck, by creating some O-zone time.

“Just a great play by [Tyler Seguin] and [Dadonov] and [Benn] to get us that one. It was a simple chip, driving the middle. [Dadonov] makes a great play over and [Benn] finishes it. That was kind of a huge turning point for us. You could feel the legs coming for everybody.”

NOTES: Duchene became the fourth player in Stars/Minnesota North Stars history to score the series-clinching goal in a game that required multiple overtimes, joining Brenden Morrow (fourth overtime in Game 6 of 2008 Western Conference Semi-Final against the San Jose Sharks), Brett Hull (third overtime in Game 6 of 1999 Stanley Cup Final at the Buffalo Sabres) and Joe Nieuwendyk (third overtime in Game 4 of 1999 Western Conference Quarter-Final at Edmonton). …. DeBoer earned his 17th series win, which is tied for the second most among active head coaches. Only Jon Cooper (18) has more.

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