Final

Colorado won 4-1 (Game 5 of 5)

Colorado won 4-1

Game 1: Wednesday, April 7th
Stars1Final
Avalanche3
Game 2: Friday, April 9th
Stars2Final
Avalanche5
Game 3: Monday, April 12th
Avalanche3Final
OT
Stars4
Game 4: Wednesday, April 14th
Avalanche3Final
2OT
Stars2
Game 5: Saturday, April 17th
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Avalanche5

3:00 PM ET, April 17, 2004

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 T
DAL 1 0 01
COL 1 1 35

P. Forsberg (Avalanche - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

M. Svatos (Avalanche - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

D. Hendrickson (Avalanche - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Goal, two assists for Avs center

DENVER (AP) -- David Aebischer accomplished something Patrick Roy had trouble with his last few seasons: closing out a playoff series.

Aebischer stopped 21 shots, and Peter Forsberg had a goal and two assists, helping the Colorado Avalanche finish off the Dallas Stars with a 5-1 victory on Saturday.

Colorado had lost five straight potential clinching games, including three consecutive in a first-round loss to Minnesota last year. Roy was in goal for each one, allowing at least three goals three times.

Aebischer made sure the Avalanche didn't give the Stars any chances in his first playoff series as Roy's replacement. He stopped 62 of 65 shots the final two games after giving up four goals in Game 3 -- Dallas' only win -- and had a 1.83 goals-against average.

"We have been talking about his confidence and poise all year, and that is the way to describe him," Avalanche coach Tony Granato said. "He has been like that all year. He backed it up and played extremely solid and consistent and very confidently."

He certainly had plenty of help.

Forsberg scored in the second period and had two assists in the third to extend his playoff point streak to 11 games. Milan Hejduk scored for the third straight game after ending the season on a 13-game goal-less streak

Rookie Marek Svatos had three assists to give him six points in the series after playing just four regular-season games.

Joe Sakic scored his fourth goal of the series into an empty net with 4:56 left, and Steve Konowalchuk had his third of the series midway through the third period.

Even grinding forward Darby Hendrickson got into the act after managing just two goals during the regular season.

"The mentality of trying to maintain a killer instinct, you need to have that in the playoffs," Avalanche forward Dan Hinote said. "We felt we did that."

Dallas got off to a good start for once, but couldn't keep it going.

The Stars put pressure on Aebischer early and got a goal from Chris Therien 5:39 in, then went back to the tentative approach that plagued them throughout the series.

Dallas managed just 22 shots and most of those were from the perimeter -- just like in the first four games. The Stars finished the series with 10 goals, and Therien was their top goal scorer with two after getting just one in the regular season.

"Going into the series, if you'd said that our top goal scorer was going to be Chris Therien, that would be all you would need to know," Stars coach Dave Tippett said.

But it wasn't just the offense.

Marty Turco was one of the league's best goalies during the regular season with 37 wins and a 1.98 goals-against average, but he was nowhere near that good against the Avalanche. Turco allowed five goals twice in the series and at least three goals in each game.

"This is difficult to swallow right now," Turco said. "You want to make a difference and I did in the series. It just wasn't a positive effect."

Dallas got the early lead on Therien's goal, then Colorado took over.

Hendrickson, in the lineup because of Alex Tanguay's bruised leg from Game 4, scored with 1:03 left in the first period on a rebound after Turco blocked his wraparound.

Konowalchuk gave Colorado its first lead on a power play 1:41 into the second period on a shot that caromed off Stars defenseman Philippe Boucher's skate through Turco's legs.

That was a bad break. The next goal, by Forsberg 42 seconds into the third period, was just a bad play by Turco.

Forsberg weaved his way through Dallas' defense, then flipped a soft backhander at Turco from a tough angle. Turco appeared to have the shot stopped underneath him, but the puck squirted into the goal when he rolled onto his back.

"The puck was sitting on my leg and for whatever reason I decided to roll over before the whistle went," Turco said. "It was a backbreaker for us at that point of our season and at that point of the game."

Game notes


The game was delayed six minutes in the first period after Sakic's shot shattered a pane of glass behind Dallas' goal. ... Colorado scored nine of its 19 goals in the series in the first period. ... Dallas had won eight straight Game 5s. ... Dallas lost two games in the series after scoring the first goal. The Stars were 30-5-5-1 in the regular season after scoring first.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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