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DALLAS — Colorado finally got to play with the lead against the Dallas Stars, though the Avalanche are still behind in the Western Conference semifinal series.

Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar scored two goals, the second after Casey Mittelstadt‘s go-ahead tally in the third period, and they beat top-seeded Dallas 5-3 in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

The Avs snapped their three-game losing streak and extended the series, which Dallas leads 3-2.

“Obviously, a do-or-die game from here on out in the series,” Makar said. “Each of us, we feed off each other.

“And I felt like we were back to kind of like forcing their hand tonight.”

When Mittelstadt scored just 1:12 into the third period to make it 3-2, it was the first time the Avalanche had led in a game this series, except for when Miles Wood scored 11 minutes into overtime to win the opener.

“It was great,” league MVP finalist Nathan MacKinnon said about Colorado playing with a lead. “They didn’t do that much, but anytime we can get a lead, it’s important, so we’re not chasing all series.”

Makar made it 4-2 with an unassisted goal just over three minutes later. His shot from the middle of the right circle went through the legs of goalie Jake Oettinger and proved to be the deciding goal, and MacKinnon scored on a lone assist from Artturi Lehkonen with 3:10 left.

MacKinnon also had the only assist on Lehkonen’s power-play goal in the last second of the first period.

“We knew we were going to get their best game in the series, and they did,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “Their big guys all are on the scoresheet tonight, which we’ve probably anticipated would happen.”

Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev had 23 saves. Oettinger stopped 22 shots.

Joe Pavelski had his first goal and his second assist of the postseason for the Stars. Miro Heiskanen and rookie Logan Stankoven also scored for Dallas, and Jason Robertson had two assists.

Game 6 is set for Friday night in Denver, where the Stars outscored the Avs 9-2 while winning Games 3 and 4. Dallas is 4-1 on the road this postseason — and 3-4 at home.

It was the sixth time in franchise history that the Avs won Game 5 after falling behind 3-1 in a best-of-seven series, but they have never come back to win the series.

After going 0-for-8 on power plays while losing the previous three games, Colorado scored tying goals on both of its opportunities with a man advantage in the first two periods.

“I felt like once we were getting pucks, it was right on and off the stick and trying to avoid a little bit of the pressure,” Makar said when asked what changed in Game 5. “Having that different mentality, an attack mentality, and not trying to back down or trying to look for the perfect play.”

Makar got his power-play goal on a 50-foot wrister through a bunch of traffic in front of the net with 3½ minutes left in the second period to tie the score at 2-2.

“Tough go for a handful of games … it’s a huge response after goal one, after goal two,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said.

Mittelstadt’s go-ahead goal came after Zach Parise hit the puck across the crease and Mittelstadt knocked it in, a ricochet off the right post that hit the back of Oettinger’s leg and went in.

Pavelski scored on a backhander from just outside the crease after a pass from Matt Duchene midway through the first period, after Robertson had poked the puck away from defenseman Josh Manson.

After 14 games without a goal, including the last three games of the regular season, Pavelski got his 74th career playoff goal to extend his record for the most by a U.S-born player. That is also the most by any active player.

Colorado got even at 1-1 with 0.6 seconds left in the first period on Lehkonen’s slap shot from the top of the slot.

“You’ve got to get out of the period there,” DeBoer said.

Heiskanen scored his fourth goal in this series — and his fifth of the playoffs — to put Dallas up 2-1 in the second. He dropped the puck back to Pavelski, who passed ahead to Robertson, who made a move toward the right side of the net before a nifty crossing pass to Heiskanen on the other side of Georgiev on a power play.

Rantanen had the secondary assist on Makar’s first goal for his 100th career playoff point (33 goals and 67 assists). It came in his 80th career postseason game, making Rantanen only the eighth NHL player to reach that milestone in that many games or fewer. He is only the fourth player in Avalanche franchise history to reach 100 playoff points; Joe Sakic’s 188 tops that list.

It was Bednar’s 49th playoff victory, matching Bob Hartley for the most in franchise history. Both have led the Avalanche to Stanley Cup titles, Hartley in 2001 then Bednar in their next one, in 2022.

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U.S. advances at hockey worlds; Canada now 6-0

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U.S. advances at hockey worlds; Canada now 6-0

PRAGUE — Dylan Cozens scored two goals and had an assist to rally Canada past Switzerland 3-2 for its sixth win in six games at the ice hockey world championship on Sunday.

Canada leads Group A with 17 points, two more than the Czech Republic in second with Switzerland another point back in third. The three teams had already clinched a spot in the playoff round.

Cozens has scored six goals at the tournament and is tied atop the scoring table with American Brady Tkachuk and Finland’s Oliver Kapanen.

Nick Paul also scored for Canada and goaltender Jordan Binnington made 20 saves including a penalty shot in the second period when the score was 2-2.

Cozens found the roof of the net on a power play 1:42 into the game to give Canada an early lead.

Switzerland answered with two goals.

Kevin Fiala wristed an equalizer past Binnington in the opening frame on a power play.

Romain Loeffel put the Swiss 2-1 up in the middle period with a slap shot from the blue line.

Cozens tied it again at 2-2 from the top of the left circle on a power play.

Paul scored the winner for Canada on a power play, completing a series of passes by scoring into an open goal midway through the second.

Canada will complete the preliminary round on Tuesday against the Czech Republic, when Switzerland will face Finland.

In Group B, Latvia prevailed over Slovakia 3-2 in a penalty shootout. The result sent the United States to the next round.

Tkachuk scored three power play goals and added an assist to help the United States rout Kazakhstan 10-1.

Its fourth victory lifted the Americans to second place in Group B with 13 points, one ahead of Germany and Slovakia with a game against Latvia, which has nine points, on Tuesday to play in the preliminary round.

Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and four assists to become the United States record scorer with 43 points, one more than Patrick Kane.

Matt Boldy scored twice and had four assists, Brock Nelson and Luke Kunin both had a goal and an assist, and Gavin Brindley and Kevin Hayes also scored.

Alex Nedeljkovic made 13 saves.

In a four-goal opening period, Tkatchuk tipped in a shot by Zach Werenski on a power play to increase the U.S. lead to 2-0, and buried a rebound to make it 4-0 on a power play.

He completed his hat trick to increase the advantage to 8-0 with a one-timed shot from the right circle on another power play in the final period.

Alikhan Omirbekov scored the consolation goal for Kazakhstan when his team was 9-0 down.

In Group A, Austria beat Norway 4-1 and is tied for fourth place with Finland.

The top four from each group advance to the playoff round.

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Source: Boeser (blood clots) not expected in G7

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Source: Boeser (blood clots) not expected in G7

Vancouver Canucks right wing Brock Boeser is not expected to play in Game 7 of their second-round series against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday because of a blood-clotting issue, a source told ESPN, confirming a report.

There’s no timeline for his return to action. The Canucks had no comment on Boeser’s status.

Boeser didn’t skate in practice Sunday. Coach Rick Tocchet would only say at a media availability that “he needed the maintenance day.”

Boeser, 27, leads the Canucks in goals (7) and is tied for the lead in points (12) during the postseason. He established career highs in goals (40), points (73) and games played (81) during the regular season.

The Canucks winger has had some MVP moments during their playoff run. His hat trick in Game 4 against the Nashville Predators led them to a comeback win. Boeser’s three points in the first period of Game 3 led Vancouver to a win over Edmonton.

It’s the second significant injury for Vancouver in the playoffs after a regular season of relatively good health for the team’s core players. Starting goaltender Thatcher Demko, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best netminder, hasn’t played since Game 1 of the first round because of a knee injury. Edmonton won Game 6 at home Saturday night to force Monday’s Game 7, the only seventh game of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The winner faces the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference finals.

The Boeser injury news was first reported by Vancouver-based hockey journalist Irfaan Gaffar.

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Canes re-sign Brind’Amour off latest playoff run

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Canes re-sign Brind'Amour off latest playoff run

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed coach Rod Brind’Amour and his staff to multiyear contracts, keeping one of the best in the NHL behind the bench around for the long term.

The team announced the re-signings Sunday for Brind’Amour, assistants Jeff Daniels and Tim Gleason, goaltending coach Paul Schonfelder and video coach Chris Huffine.

“Rod has been instrumental to the success we’ve had over the last six seasons,” team president and general manager Don Waddell said. “Ever since he joined the organization 24 years ago, Rod has embodied what it means to be a Hurricane. We hope to keep him a Hurricane for life.”

Brind’Amour was in the final year of a deal reached in 2021, when he was the winner of the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach. His status had become a talking point around the NHL as jobs changed hands, though Brind’Amour — as well as Waddell — had expressed confidence that a deal would get done.

“I never had a doubt in my mind he [would] come back,” Carolina center Sebastian Aho said earlier in the day when asked about the reports of a deal. “Not surprised, I would say.”

Brind’Amour took over in 2018 to lead a franchise that had missed the playoffs for nine straight years. The Hurricanes have gone to the playoffs six times in as many seasons under the captain of Carolina’s 2006 Stanley Cup winner. Carolina has also won at least one series in each of the past six postseasons, marking the first time a team has accomplished that since the Detroit Red Wings did it from 1995 to 2000. The Canes also reached the Eastern Conference finals twice in the past six seasons.

Carolina finished three points behind the New York Rangers for the Metropolitan Division title and Presidents’ Trophy (presented to the league’s top regular-season team), another season in which it ranked among the NHL’s top teams with an aggressive forechecking style.

The Hurricanes beat the New York Islanders in five games in Round 1 then lost to the Rangers in a six-game second-round series after falling in a 3-0 hole.

Brind’Amour, 53, arrived in Raleigh in a January 2000 trade from the Philadelphia Flyers and played there until his retirement in 2010. He then spent seven seasons as an assistant coach before taking over as a first-time head coach.

Multiple players were asked earlier Sunday about Brind’Amour’s status during end-of-season interviews. None expressed concern that he wouldn’t return or that it had been any type of distraction.

“He’s one of the main pieces that turned this organization around from where it was when I first got here,” defenseman Jaccob Slavin said. “So I think anyone would want him to stay as well. I know he wants to be here. I’m confident it’ll get done.”

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