STARS looking to end series in game 6.

Throwing a knockout punch in a playoff series is a tough task.

Sure, you have put yourself into position to eliminate an opponent, so you definitely have the ability to beat that team in one key game, but the Stars have found out in this postseason that getting past a desperate squad is a just a bit more intense.

Dallas had a 3-2 lead on Vegas in the first round and lost in Game 6. It went on to win in Game 7. The Stars had a 3-1 lead on Colorado. It lost in Game 5 and now has a chance in Game 6 on Friday at Ball Arena. That’s just part of the day-to-day challenges of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“It’s a hard thing to do,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said Thursday. “You’re down to the eight best teams in the league right now, so it’s hard to close anyone out, and if it takes six or it takes overtime in seven, the bottom line is, you just want to move forward.”

The Stars do have some wiggle room. By getting up 3-1 in the series, they are allowed three chances to win one game and take the best-of-seven matchup. While that’s a good thing, it can also be a point of contention. Stars forward Matt Duchene said that while the team played hard and played well in a 5-3 loss in Game 5, it felt like something was missing.

“I think it’s human nature to start thinking about the result maybe a little too soon,” Duchene said. “The other team is just thinking shift by shift and staying in the moment, and that’s really powerful at this time of the year. If you put the cart ahead of the horse too far, it doesn’t work. I thought Colorado played really well [in Game 5], I think we didn’t maybe do the things we did previously. I thought we were right there, but we let them back in with the two penalties. At the same time, this is a great opportunity to go into Colorado, a place where we won a couple of games, and try to close it out.”

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