For the second time in their franchise history, the Minnesota Wild have delivered an upset over the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup playoffs. On Wednesday evening, according to TSN, Calgary-raised Dany Heatley contributed to the Wild's offensive attack with three points as Minnesota defeated Colorado 5-4 in game seven of the National Hockey League's Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Heatley registered a goal and two assists. His goal came at 7:27 of the second period to tie the game at two goals apiece. He then registered two assists on goals by Nino Niederreiter. The first tied the game at three goals apiece at 6:33 of the third period and then then the game winning goal at 5:02 of overtime. On the game winning goal, Heatley and Niederreiter were on a two-on-one in the Colorado zone when Niederreiter blasted a shot past Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Niederreiter and Kyle Brodziak also had three points for the Wild.
The Wild will now play the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central Division Final. The Blackhawks beat the Wild four games to one in the Western Conference quarterfinal series in 2013. In the five game series a year ago, the Blackhawks outscored the Wild 17-7. The Blackhawks then went on to win their second Stanley Cup in four years.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, this is not the first time the Minnesota Wild have defeated the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In the 2003 Western Conference quarterfinal, the Wild upset the Avalanche four games to three in the opening round. In game seven, the Wild got an overtime winner from Andrew Brunette to eliminate the Avalanche. Ironically that was Patrick Roy's last National Hockey League game. Roy, who is coaching the Avalanche now, is the heavy favourite to win the 2014 Jack Adams Award for NHL coach of the year.