Game 6: Avalanche vs. Stars (DAL leads 3-2) – 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN (livestream): The Avalanche jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first period, including the final four goals in this stretch coming in a 2:36 span, en route to the three-goal win to stave off elimination. Colorado has scored six goals in both games they have won this series.

The Avalanche became the second team in the last nine years to start three different goalies in the same playoff series when Michael Hutchinson made his first career postseason start in Game 5 after Pavel Francouz was deemed unfit to play and did not dress.

Goalies were a story for the Stars as well in Game 5, with Ben Bishop starting for the first time since August 13; he had been “unfit to play” and had not dressed since Game 3 of the Second Round against Calgary when he backed up Anton Khudobin. Bishop allowed four goals in the first period before being replaced prior to the end of the period by Khudobin.

“This game was so bad,” said Stars interim head coach Rick Bowness, “we’ve got a lot to digest here before we get to that point [deciding which goalie for Game 6].”

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist in Game 5, continuing his scoring streak. He has recorded a point in all 13 games this postseason – becoming the fourth different player in NHL history to start a postseason with a point in 13 straight games

The last Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs was last season’s Stanley Cup Final, when St. Louis won at Boston, 4-1, to clinch the franchise’s first-ever championship.

THURSDAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Game 6: Flyers vs. Islanders (NYI lead 3-2) – 7 p.m. ET – NBCSN (livestream)
Game 6: Golden Knights vs. Canucks (VGK lead 3-2) – 9:45 p.m. ET – NBCSN (livestream)

[NHL Second Round schedule]

————

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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