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  Goaltenders Pounded as Avalanche Prevails

Colorado Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy
Colorado's Patrick Roy dives for the puck in the second period. (Reuters)
By Jaime Aron
Associated Press
Sunday, May 30, 1999; 5:56 p.m. EDT

DALLAS Even without two of their top scorers, the Colorado Avalanche still produced their biggest offensive game of the postseason to get within one victory of the Stanley Cup finals.

Chris Drury and Valeri Kamensky each scored twice and Peter Forsberg had a goal and two assists as Colorado beat Dallas 7-5 Sunday to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals.

The Avalanche can eliminate the Stars and advance to the finals for the second time in four years with a victory in Game 6 in Denver on Tuesday night. If a seventh game is needed, it will be Friday night in Dallas.

Playing 38 hours after Game 4 went to overtime in Denver, Colorado was able to force the Stars to play an up-tempo game. The result was wave after wave of odd-man rushes for Colorado against Dallas goaltender Ed Belfour.

Belfour, playing in his 100th career playoff game, gave up two goals in each period. He'd only had four two-goal periods in the previous 72 of the playoffs.

The Stars, who turned third-period deficits into victories five times this postseason, led 2-1 and 3-2 but couldn't sustain it. Their biggest push came after Kamensky's second goal gave the Avalanche a 5-3 lead with 13:34 left.

First Mike Keane scored, but it was waved off because he kicked the puck into the net. Then Brett Hull fired the puck past Patrick Roy to make it 5-4 and 1:15 later Roy kicked in a Pat Verbeek wraparound to tie the game with 9:03 left.

The excitement among the 17,001 fans at Reunion Arena was short-lived as Drury popped in a rebound with 6:44 to go to put the Avalanche back ahead 6-5. Forsberg scored into an open net with 33.9 seconds left.

This was Drury's second straight game-winning goal as he scored in overtime Friday night. He has four game-winners in the playoffs, tying the NHL's rookie record.

The Avalanche had no problems opening things up even though second-leading scorer Theo Fleury was out with the flu and fifth-leading scorer Milan Hejduk is out for the postseason with a broken collarbone.

Colorado nonetheless scored its most goals in 17 games this postseason. The Avalanche had six goals twice.

The Stars had only allowed as many as four goals once, a 5-4 victory over St. Louis in the second round.

© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press

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