Sports Minute: Rookie Makar, Avs cruise to 4-0 round-robin win over Stars
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — High-scoring 21-year-old rookie defenseman Cale Makar connected on an early power-play goal, 30-year-old Pavel Francouz recorded a shutout in his postseason debut and the Colorado Avalanche cruised to a 4-0 round-robin win over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.
Joonas Donskoi, Vladislav Namestnikov and Andre Burakovsky also scored as the Avalanche improved to 2-0 in the three-game round that will determine playoff seeding for the top four teams in the Western Conference. The Stars have lost both of their games and are likely to finish where they started as the fourth seed.
Colorado was 1 of 18 on the power play while losing all four regular-season games to Dallas before the pandemic-forced shutdown, but three of the four goals in the restart involved the man advantage.
Donskoi scored 3 seconds after a power play ended in the first period, and Burakovsky connected early in the third period after Mattias Janmark was called for tripping late in the second.
Burakovsky's shot hit the crossbar before deflecting off the back of Stars goalie Anton Khudobin into the net. Donskoi and Burakovsky had assists on the other's goal.
Khudobin finished with 36 saves.
Makar opened the scoring 33 seconds into Esa Lindell's interference penalty with a shot from near the blue line early in the first period.
It was the first goal in the NHL bubble for Makar, who led all rookie defensemen with 12 goals and was second among all rookies with 50 points before the hiatus.
Francouz stopped 27 shots, including a couple of point-blank whacks from Tyler Seguin on rebounds in the second period. The Stars have been shut out for 115 of the 120 minutes in the restart. All three goals in a 5-3 loss to Vegas came in a span of less than five minutes.
It was the second career shutout for Francouz. The first was Feb. 21 before the shutdown, the same day he signed a two-year contract extension.
NOTES: D John Klingberg didn't play for Dallas. G Ben Bishop was also declared unfit to play but probably wouldn't have made the start anyway. ... Nazem Kadri, whose goal with 0.1 seconds left beat St. Louis in the round-robin opener, had an assist. ... Stars D Thomas Harley made his NHL debut at 18. Harley was the 18th overall pick last year.
The round-robin finales for both teams. Colorado plays Vegas on Saturday. Dallas faces St. Louis on Sunday.
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