Wild even series with Avs
ST. PAUL, Minn.—Charlie Coyle scored his third goal of the series for Minnesota as the Wild dominated the Colorado Avalanche for the second-straight game en route to a 2-1 win last night that evened their first-round match-up at two apiece.
The Wild outshot the Avalanche a stunning 32-12—establishing a franchise record for fewest allowed by Minnesota.
“I think it’s confidence coming from last game,” Coyle said.
“Every game is a new game and you have got to always bring that energy and same focus,” he stressed.
“But I think we fed off of last game and how well we played.”
Jared Spurgeon used a slapshot to get a puck past Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov just 3:47 into the game—much quicker than the 65:08 the Wild needed to score the last time.
Game 5 goes tomorrow night in Denver.
Coyle was in perfect position to backhand in a lucky bounce of the ricochet of Jason Pominville’s rocket off the glass behind the net, giving the Wild a two-goal lead with 7:05 left in the second period.
Just 30 seconds later, O’Reilly gave the Avalanche their first goal against Wild rookie Darcy Kuemper in the series after 42 shots and more than 124 minutes without one.
It was a long-range shot from the top of the circle without any traffic in front that cut the lead to 2-1.
But that was all they could scrap together on another off night by the high-scoring, fast-skating stars that highlighted victories in Games 1 and 2.
The Avalanche did a better job of clogging shooting and passing lanes to slow the Wild’s attack in the third period, and coach Patrick Roy pulled Varlamov with 2:39 left to get the extra skater.
Then 25 seconds later, Jonas Brodin was called for hooking—giving the Avalanche a 6-on-4 situation.
Mikael Granlund lost his stick at one point, but still managed to block a shot without it as the crowd of 19,396—a Wild franchise playoff record—roared louder yet.
“We’ve had some exciting games since I’ve been here in this building, but I’ve never heard anything like that tonight,” noted Wild coach Mike Yeo.
“That was fun.”
The Avalanche failed to score on all four power plays and fell to 1-for-15 in the series.
Roy didn’t look fazed, though, even if his players were frustrated and disappointed.
“When we have the type of performance that we have from our goaltender, there’s no reason for us to not believe in ourselves, coming back home,” Roy remarked.
Roy’s daring removal of Varlamov with 3:01 to go worked in Game 1, when Stastny tied the game with 13 seconds left and won it in overtime.
Elsewhere, Boston nipped Detroit 3-2 (OT) to lead that series 3-1 while L.A. doubled San Jose 6-3 to avoid a sweep.