Avalanche beat Wild on MacKinnon's OT goal
April 27, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
NHL PRESS RELEASE
DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche used some last-minute magic for the second time in their Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild and pulled out a 4-3 overtime win at Pepsi Center on Saturday night.
PA Parenteau tied the game with 1:14 to play in regulation after goalie Semyon Varlamov went to the bench for a sixth skater and rookie Nathan MacKinnon completed a three-point night by scoring at 3:27 of the extra period.
The Avalanche lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 and will attempt to close it out Monday in Game 6 at the Xcel Energy Center (9 p.m. ET; CNBC, RDS2, TSN, FS-N, ALT).
"We're just going to have to play like we did tonight," said Avalanche coach Patrick Roy, adding that he would "take a serious look" at putting center Matt Duchene in the lineup. Duchene has been sidelined since March 29 because of an injured left knee and skated five days this week before taking part in the morning skate Saturday.
MacKinnon, who has an NHL-leading 10 points with two goals and eight assists -- all coming in Colorado's three home games -- put a shot from the left circle past Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper's glove shortly after Avalanche defenseman Nick Holden made a game-saving stop against Matt Moulson.
"The save of the night was by Holden," Roy said. "He made a really good save before we got the puck back and went in the other end."
MacKinnon was swarmed by teammates after the goal, accidentally knocking off his helmet in the celebration.
"It was pretty exciting and this one definitely tops the list," he said.
Gabriel Landeskog had the puck along the left-wing boards when he heard MacKinnon yell.
"I was kind of screaming for it," MacKinnon said. "It definitely was a good heads-up play by him, a little saucer pass to my blade and thankfully it went top corner."
The Avalanche tied the game after Roy pulled Varlamov with 2:22 to play in the third period, shortly after they killed an unsportsmanlike penalty to Gabriel Landeskog for spraying snow into Kuemper.
The Avalanche won the series opener 5-4 when Paul Stastny scored in overtime after he tied the game with 13.4 seconds left in regulation and Varlamov on the bench. This time, Stastny took a shot that Kuemper stopped, but Stastny managed to slide the rebound up the slot. Parenteau converted for his first point of the series.
"I knew Paulie likes to put those pucks in front of the net. He's a pretty good passer," Parenteau said. "I just came in, knowing he was going to make a play and it was right on my tape. We'll take it. It's a huge goal for our team. I was moving my feet tonight. I was going much better."
Parenteau had six shots on goal and clanged a shot off the post late in the second period.
"PA, the game he played all night was unbelievable and he was just at the right spot and was rewarded," Stastny said. "We just rolled with it. We get that momentum and we know we're going to win."
The Wild said Stastny was offside on the play that resulted in the tying goal.
"It's too bad," defenseman Ryan Suter said. "I mean, we played hard, we came out in the third and played the way we wanted to. They missed a call and we pay for it. I mean, no excuses, we have to play better in the overtime. We got to get more pressure on them, get pucks at their net. They came hard but yeah, they definitely got away with a missed call to tie the game."
Wild coach Mike Yeo said the outcome was "frustrating and obviously disappointing," adding no good could come from thinking about it too much.
"We know what's ahead of us here," he said. "Never once did we think it was going to be easy. The task at hand now is pretty simple. We go and play the same way we did at home. I would say we're due for ... I wouldn't say luck. We're due for some stuff here to go our way a little bit. But I'm not going to sit here and dwell on what happened in the game, what could have been. This is playoff hockey. You get highs and you get lows and it's how you deal with it."
"After they scored those two bang-bang plays to take the lead it kind of deflated us, but we stuck with it," Parenteau said. "It's the sign of a team that wants to win and is competing."
Parise collected his first goal of the series at 4:34 after taking a cross-ice pass by Jason Pominville. He fired from the left circle dot and beat Varlamov to the glove side.
Brodziak put the Wild in front for the first time at 6:25 after Avalanche forward Marc-Andre Cliche gave his stick to defenseman Jan Hejda, who had dropped his broken stick. Brodziak put a screen shot past Varlamov after taking a pass from Dany Heatley, who had two assists.
The Wild went on their third power play at 15:27 after Landeskog sprayed Kuemper with snow.
"It was hard to remain calm after the call," Roy said. "When I looked at the clock, I said we'll have about 2 minutes (to tie the game). We had to kill that one. That was a huge kill. Penalty-killing was without a doubt outstanding for us tonight. The guys did a really good job to sacrifice their bodies and block shots. They gave us a chance to win this game."
McLeod scored a shorthanded goal at 8:04 after the Avalanche were penalized for having too many men on the ice. He knocked the puck away from Suter in the neutral zone and got it to Ryan O'Reilly, who moved down left wing and fed McLeod driving to the net. McLeod redirected the puck behind Kuemper.
The Wild answered at 9:17 on Moulson's goal after Avalanche defenseman Andre Benoit broke his stick . Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon took a shot from above the circles and Moulson tipped it past Varlamov.
Holden scored at 12:16 during a 4-on-4 with Minnesota's Mikko Koivu and Landeskog serving coincidental roughing minors. MacKinnon used his speed to race into the Wild zone and passed the puck back to Benoit just inside the blue line. Benoit fired a shot that was going wide when Holden deflected the puck between Kuemper's pads.
The Avalanche failed to convert on three power plays and are 1-for-18 in the series. The Wild went 0-for-3 and are 2-for-15 in the series.