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Avs close out Stars on Brunette's OT winner

DALLAS (AP) -- Jose Theodore played only five games for Colorado
in the regular season. Now, after five postseason games he's
already won over his new teammates.

Theodore stopped 11 shots in overtime before Andrew Brunette
scooped a rebound over sprawling goaltender Marty Turco to give
Colorado a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars -- and wrap up the
first-round series in five games for the seventh-seeded Avalanche.

"He's the reason we're standing here with smiles on our face,
really. He was unbelievable today," said Colorado captain Joe
Sakic, who scored his 81st career playoff goal and had the shot
that led to the winner. "I mean, they could've ended it so many
times -- not only in overtime, but in the third. He kept us in and
gave us a chance."

The Stars outshot Colorado 11-4 in the extra period, including
seven shots during the frame's only power play. But Dallas couldn't
solve Theodore.

Two days after the Stars avoided a sweep with a 4-1 victory,
Theodore stopped 50 shots to end the series.

"I told (everyone), Theo's going to come back with a huge game.
And he did," said Jim Dowd, who added a goal for the Avs. "He
basically stole that game for us, especially in the overtime."

Dowd saw how Theodore bounced back from losses when they were
teammates in Montreal, which sent the former NHL MVP to Colorado at
the trade deadline on March 8.

After the game ended, Turco stood motionless in his net for
several minutes, staring down at the ice. He stopped 27 shots,
including Sakic's before Brunette got the rebound, but lost a
series in five games to Colorado in his second straight postseason.

"I did everything I could to get there, but he got it up,"
Turco said. "I gave it a chance with everything I had, but it
wasn't enough."

The Avalanche won their third overtime game in the series,
advancing to the second round for the eighth time in 10 postseason
appearances.

Colorado got Theodore for David Aebischer, the goalie who beat
the Stars in the 2004 playoffs. Theodore was recovering from a
fractured right heel when he arrived, then was 1-3-1 down the
stretch.

"It didn't take long until I felt comfortable," Theodore said.
"But obviously until you get a couple of games in and they see
that you're really committed and you really want to win, that's the
main thing."

Theodore is the second high-profile goaltender that has been
sent from Montreal to Colorado. The other was Patrick Roy, who
became the winningest goalie in NHL history with Colorado and won
two more Stanley Cups after being acquired during the 1995-96
season.

Mike Modano, the Stars captain, had to be helped off the ice
midway through the third period when he took a hard hit to his head
when he was charged by Brett Clark. No penalty was called.

Modano returned for overtime, drawing huge cheers when he was
shown on the bench. His return to the ice was met by a standing,
towel-twirling ovation, but couldn't save the Stars.

"It's frustrating," Modano said. "On paper we are a good
team, but we didn't win when it counted."

Massachusetts native and huge Boston Red Sox fan Bill Guerin
tied the game at 2 for the Stars with 17:13 left in regulation when
he poked the puck away from Kurt Sauer and scored his second goal
of the series.

Guerin reminded his teammates of 2004, when the Red Sox overcame
an 0-3 deficit in the AL championship series against the New York
Yankees and went on to win the World Series.

Only two NHL teams have come back from 0-3 deficits to win.

Unable to take advantage of a late power play, the Stars still
almost avoided overtime. Sergei Zubov's shot with about 10 seconds
left in regulation skimmed off the post.

The Stars dominated during the second period, and midway through
had outshot Colorado 16-3 in the period and led 1-0. They kept
plenty of pressure on Theodore, and at times had the puck in front
of the net without being able to get a stick on it.

And they still trailed going to the locker room for the second
intermission.

Dowd tied it at 1 with 6:57 left in the second when he knocked
in a rebound to end Turco's 88-minute scoreless streak.

Sakic's goal, the most among active NHL players, came with only
two seconds left in the middle period, when he pushed a bouncing
puck through Turco's legs.

Dallas led 1-0 when Jussi Jokinen scored 4:25 into the second
period. The rookie made a move similar to what he used to score 11
shootout goals in the regular season, this time with a defender
riding on his back.

Turco didn't allow a first-period goal for the first time in 10
career playoff games against Colorado, stopping all seven shots.
That was part of the first scoreless period in the series.

Game notes
Avalanche C Pierre Turgeon, with two assists in the first
four games, was a healthy scratch. ... It was the seventh career
playoff goal for Dowd. He scored two others against Dallas while
playing for Edmonton. ... Turco didn't get credited with a shot,
but his clearing pass midway through the first period got past
teammate Niklas Hagman. The only other player to touch it was
Theodore, who stopped it in front of the Colorado net.