It was far from smooth, but the Colorado Avalanche are back in a series that went on uninterrupted.
Colorado took a two-goal lead in Game 3, but allowed the Dallas Stars to erase it for the second straight game. Colorado fell behind before Mikko Rantanen found the net and turned the tide.
Nazem Kadri scored with just under six minutes left in regulation and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare added an empty-netter in a 6-4 win. The Avalanche pulled within a game of Dallas in the series, 2-1, in Edmonton, Alberta.
All three NHL playoff tilts took place Wednesday even as NBA, WNBA, Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball games did not go on as scheduled as part of a unified stance for social justice.
Kadri said in regards to sitting out: “It crosses your mind.”
“Eventually words get stale,” he said. “It’s about action and making a difference.”
The NHL held a “moment of reflection” before Game 3 of the series between the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning. No one on the ice for the Stars-Avalanche game kneeled during the national anthem.
Coach Jared Bednar said he was busy with preparations and didn’t see what was going on in the sports world before the game. He said if any player had mentioned sitting out, they would have had a team discussion, but no one did.
When Nikita Zadorov got the Avalanche back into the game the first time, it wasn’t fancy. He ripped a rolling puck past Anton Khudobin (26 saves) from well out to tie it at one.
Zadorov also added an assist. He left the game with an injury later in the second period.
Cale Makar fed Andre Burakovsky, who moved up to the top of the faceoff circles and sent the puck into the top right corner to make it 2-1.
Makar set up the next one too. His backhand bid met Khudobin’s pads, but trailing Gabriel Landeskog stuffed it in.
The Stars revved up in the third. Denis Gurianov got Dallas within one with a bad-angle goal, then Blake Comeau and Jamie Benn scored a minute and a half apart to take the lead.
“Today I could feel it on the bench,” Bednar said. “We were still playing.”
Nathan MacKinnon picked up two assists and has a point in 11 straight games. He took over the franchise lead for longest playoff point streak from Joe Sakic and Marian Stastny.
Pavel Francouz made 33 saves for Colorado.
“I know everyone believes in this group,” Makar, who finished with three assists, said. “It’s just about being able to go out there and execute.”