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Stars beat Avalanche 5-1 in Game 4, Go Home Up 3-1 in Series – Hockey Writers – Dallas Stars

Nobody likes a Monday, but this one was pretty bad for the Colorado Avalanche. Hours after the NHL announced that one of their most productive players, Valeri Nichushkin, was suspended for six months, they fell to the Dallas Stars 5-1 in Game 4 of their second-round series. A slow start is what made them successful, and despite all their abilities, a push in the latter half of the tournament did not cause the Western Conference-leading Stars to wither.

Wyatt Johnston, Burgeoning star

No matter how long the team's playoff run lasts, the Dallas faithful can rest assured that one of the league's young stars is a Star. Wyatt Johnston put his stamp on Game 3 in more ways than one. Hours before celebrating his 21stSt birthday, the forward helped make life more difficult for the Avalanche. Dallas' aggressiveness on the penalty kill in the first half allowed Johnston to reach his sixth of the postseason, and some puck movement fed him a power play midway through the frame for a 2-0 lead and his seventh marker of the game.

Related: Avalanche's Nichushkin Place in Stage 3 of the Player Assistance Program

A talented Dallas team showed superiority shortly after when Miro Heiskanen floated a wrister at the blue line that was checked by Avalanche goaltender Alexander Georgiev. The hosts tried to come back with the effort of Casey Mittelstadt which made it 3-1. That was as close as Colorado got, as more aggression in the Stars' final frame allowed Evgeny Dadonov to pounce on a rebound from close range to extend their advantage to 4-1 before Sam Steel scored into an empty net late on. Make the finals 5-1 for Dallas.

With a 3-1 series lead, the Stars return to Dallas for Game 5 on Wednesday.

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