Dallas Stars look to plow their way through the Rocky Mountains

Now that the series is tied up at one game a piece, it's time for the real test in this series. The Stars look to steal a game in Denver as they take on the Colorado Avalanche in game three. Here are the three keys of the game tonight against Colorado.
May 9, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen (4) is named the number one
May 9, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen (4) is named the number one / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

When you think of Denver, Colorado, does your mind automatically remind you of the Coors Light train from their commerical? For some strange reason, it does for me every time the Stars play the Avalanche in Denver. That is the plan for the Dallas Stars as they take on the Colorado Avalanche in game three of the Western Conference Semifinals. Luckily, game three is on a Saturday, and Stars fans can sleep in depending on how long the game goes. Hopefully, it's wrapped up in a bow at the end of the third period.

Roope Hintz must continue his postseason dominance from game two on Thursday night. That looked like the vintage Hintz that the Stars signed to an eight-year extension. Hintz must find a way to get Logan Stankoven going on the top line. Stankoven has worked his butt off by showing Pete DeBoer he can take the reigns as a top-line forward. He's due for a goal in the playoffs, and hopefully, he can put one in the back of the net tonight.

It's crucial that the Stars set the tone of the game out of the gate. The Avalanche are notorious for scoring first on home ice. The last thing that the Stars want to do is play from behind and catch up to them. The Stars can't afford to travel back to Dallas next week down 3-1 against the Avalanche. That would be a recipe for disaster as the top seed in the Western Conference. It's time the Stars flex their muscles and show the NHL what they are made of. Here are the three keys of tonight's tilt against the Avalanche.

Dallas Stars vs. Colorado Avalanche: 3. Take away their momentum

The Stars must take away the momentum from the Avalanche on their home ice tonight. It would be a disaster to allow the Avalanche to score first and swing the pendulum in their favor. Their home crowd is one of the rowdiest crowds in the Western Conference during the playoffs. If you look at how the crowd took the Winnipeg Jets out of it, they can do that to the Stars. Taking the crowd out of the game in the first period is a must-do for the Stars tonight.

Dallas Stars vs. Colorado Avalanche: 2. Shut down Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar

This is a no-brainer if the Stars want to take control of the series tonight. Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar are two of the top goal-scorers in the league, and both can take control of a playoff game instantly. That's why the Stars can't allow them ample time in the Stars' zone with the puck on their stick. Making sure both don't find the scoresheet will be a challenge, but the Stars have the players that can do it.

Dallas Stars vs. Colorado Avalanche: 1. Finnish Mafia attack

The Finnish Mafia must find the scoresheet to beat the Colorado Avalanche tonight. Hintz and Heiskanen found the scoresheet in game two, leading to the Stars winning Thursday night. It would be nice to see Roope Hintz be the dominant forward that he was in the playoffs last season. If the Finnish Mafia shows up tonight, the Stars should lead the series at the end of Saturday night.

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