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Home Sport Stars blanked by Francouz as Avalanche remain undefeated in Western round-robin

Stars blanked by Francouz as Avalanche remain undefeated in Western round-robin

High-scoring 21-year-old rookie defenceman Cale Makar connected on an early power-play goal, 30-year-old Pavel Francouz recorded a shutout in his post-season debut and the Colorado Avalanche cruised to a 4-0 round-robin win over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.

Joonas Donskoi, Vladislav Namestnikov and Andre Burakovsky also scored as the Avalanche improved to 2-0 in the three-game round that will determine playoff seeding for the top four teams in the Western Conference. The Stars have lost both of their games and are likely to finish where they started as the fourth seed.

Colorado was 1 of 18 on the power play while losing all four regular-season games to Dallas before the pandemic-forced shutdown, but three of the four goals in the restart involved the man advantage.

Donskoi scored 3 seconds after a power play ended in the first period, and Burakovsky connected early in the third period after Mattias Janmark was called for tripping late in the second.

WATCH | Avs stifle Stars scorers, go 2-0 in round-robin play:

The Colorado Avalanche blanked the Dallas Stars 4-0 to improve to 2-0 during the Western Conference round-robin play. 0:52

Burakovsky’s shot hit the crossbar before deflecting off the back of Stars goalie Anton Khudobin into the net. Donskoi and Burakovsky had assists on the other’s goal.

Khudobin finished with 36 saves.

Makar opened the scoring 33 seconds into Esa Lindell’s interference penalty with a shot from near the blue line early in the first period.

It was the first goal in the NHL bubble for Makar, who led all rookie defencemen with 12 goals and was second among all rookies with 50 points before the hiatus.

Francouz stopped 27 shots, including a couple of point-blank whacks from Tyler Seguin on rebounds in the second period. The Stars have been shut out for 115 of the 120 minutes in the restart. All three goals in a 5-3 loss to Vegas came in a span of less than five minutes.

It was the second career shutout for Francouz. The first was Feb. 21 before the shutdown, the same day he signed a two-year contract extension.

WATCH | CBC Sports’ Rob Pizzo recaps Day 4 of NHL restart:

In his daily recap, Rob Pizzo tells you everything you need to know from day 4 of the NHL playoffs. 3:20

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