NHL Bubble Wrap: Stars top line dominates

  • The Dallas Stars top line dominated their Game 1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
  • Nathan MacKinnon did everything he could for the Avalanche but it was not enough on this night.
  • The biggest concern for the Avalanche might be the injury situation.

Dallas Stars 5, Colorado Avalanche 3 (Stars lead series 1-0)

This was a tough opening game for Colorado. After cruising through their First Round series against the Arizona Coyotes, the level of competition improved dramatically on Saturday night as they were on the losing end of a 5-3 decision in Game 1 to the Dallas Stars. The Avalanche had no answer for Dallas’ top line of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov, while they also had two key players (defenseman Erik Johnson and starting goalie Phillipp Grubauer) leave the game with injuries. Grubauer’s injury looks to be the really concerning one, with coach Jared Bednar saying after the game that it did not look good. There is no update on how much time he could potentially miss as a result.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Three Stars

1. Alexander Radulov, Dallas Stars. All three members of the Stars’ top line shined on Saturday and Radulov had the biggest game out of the group with three points, including a pair of goals. After a dreadful start to the postseason where he was held without a point and recorded just two shots on goal in his first four games, he now has six points (including four goals) and 16 shots on goal in his past six games. His offensive numbers declined a bit during the regular season, but he can still be an impact player when he gets rolling like this.

2. Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars. Like Radulov, Benn has also been heating up in recent games and was sensational on Saturday with three assists in the win. He helped get the Stars rolling by setting up Tyler Seguin’s goal at the four minute mark of the first period, and then made an even better pass (see it below) to set up Radulov’s first goal. He has seven points in his past seven games.

3. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche. It was not enough to get the Avalanche another win, but MacKinnon was sensational on Saturday with a pair of goals (both highlight reel plays) to continue what has been a dominant postseason performance. With his three points he now has 16 points in the Avalanche’s first nine playoff games this season.

Highlights of the Night

Tyler Seguin and Nathan MacKinnon got this series off to a great start with a couple of quick goals, with MacKinnon’s goal being another highlight reel play.

Radulov’s first goal of the game was a beautiful pass from Benn and finish.

MacKinnon’s second goal of the game as he continues his dominant postseason.

Factoids

  • Miro Heiskanen‘s postseason career is off to a great start and puts him in some pretty exclusive company. [NHL PR]
  • Nathan MacKinnon has a nine-game point streak going for the Avalanche, making him only the 11th player since 2006 to accomplish that. It is also tied for the longest postseason point streak in Avalanche history behind only Joe Sakic and Marian Stastny (when the team was based in Quebec). [NHL PR]
  • Winning Game 1 of a series has been a very promising development for the Stars over the years. [NHL PR]

Sunday Schedule

Game 1: Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, 8 p.m. ET, NBC
Game 1: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks, 10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN

 

MORE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round schedule

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Scroll Down For: