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Duchene scores in double OT as Stars beat Avs, advance to Western Conference final


DENVER (AP) — Matt Duchene scored at 11:42 of the second overtime after being involved in a play that led to a goal disallowed for goaltender interference in the first extra period, and the Dallas Stars advanced to the Western Conference final with a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 6 on Friday night.

Duchene, a former draft pick of the Avalanche, secured a loose puck in front of the net and sent it over a sprawled out Alexandar Georgiev. Duchene took off down the ice and slid on his knees in celebration.

Dallas advances to face either Edmonton or Vancouver next. It’s the second straight trip to the conference final for the Stars, who lost last season to eventual Stanley Cup champion Vegas. The Stars won their only Stanley Cup title in 1999.

Jamie Benn tied the game at 1:56 of the third period. Mason Marchment thought he scored the winner with 7:29 left in the first overtime but it was waved off for goaltender interference. The play was reviewed and the call on the ice stood. Duchene was jostling with Cale Makar in front of Georgiev, leading to a call. The NHL’s situation room explained that Duchene impaired Georgiev’s ability to play his position in the crease.

Jake Oettinger was stellar all night in making 29 saves. One of his biggest was a close-range shot from Artturi Lehkonen down low midway through the second OT.

This was a series in which the road team won five of six games, including the Stars taking all three in Denver. The Avalanche were the top home team in the regular season, while the Stars had the best road record.

Dallas joins Florida and the New York Rangers as teams that closed out a second-round series in six games. It’s just the third post-season to have three Round 2 matchups decided in six games (1999 and 2004).

It was a tumultuous post-season for Colorado, with Valeri Nichushkin suspended before Game 4 for violating terms of the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.

Colorado scored the opening goal of the game for the first time in the series when Mikko Rantanen sent a wrist shot over Oettinger early in the second period on a power play.

Cale Makar had an assist to give him 80 career playoff points in 72 games played. He’s the fifth defenceman in NHL history to amass 80 career post-season points in 80 or fewer games, joining Bobby Orr (66 games), Paul Coffey (67), Brian Leetch (70) and Al MacInnis (71).

Both team were missing forwards, with Roope Hintz out for Dallas and Yakov Trenin for Colorado.