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Minnesota Wild cut into series deficit with dominating performance

Mikael Granlund (64) slides the puck into an open net to give the Minnesota Wild a 1-0 overtime win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Monday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Mikael Granlund (64) slides the puck into an open net to give the Minnesota Wild a 1-0 overtime win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Monday at the Xcel Energy Center.Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Mikael Granlund beat Jan Hejda off the boards and stickhandled through three defenders and the goaltender to give the Minnesota Wild a 1-0 overtime victory over the Colorado Avalanche Monday at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild dominated play throughout the 65 minutes and eight seconds of game play, but it took their 46th shot to beat Semyon Varlamov.

“They played with more urgency than we did,” Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said. “Without a doubt, they were more hungry. We did not play up to what we are capable of, there’s no doubt. But, like I said, I would rather give them credit. They played well. They were sharp. They were the better team on the ice.

“(Varlamov) was outstanding. He’s the only reason we had a chance to win this game. We were one shot away, let’s not forget.”

In the first two games, the Avalanche (2-1) got seven of their nine goals from their top line of Paul Statsny, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog.

Erik Haula jumped from the fourth line to the third with Matt Cooke and Justin Fontaine. They not only kept the that line off the scoresheet, but held them to seven shots while having five of their own. The Haula line actually had more offensive chances than Statsny’s.

“It’s tough to play offense when they other team has the puck,” Haula said about his line’s success with slowing Statsny’s line down by keeping the puck in the offensive zone. “Everyone did a good job tonight. Everyone played their role and did their job. It was awesome to be a part of.”

The Wild (1-2) return to action Thursday against the Avalanche in Game 4 of their quarterfinal series of the Stanley Cup playoffs at the Xcel Energy Center.

Three Stars

No. 3 - Erik Haula. The Wild forward, along with line mates, were tasked with slowing down the Avalanche’s top line.

No. 2 - Darcy Kuemper. The Wild goaltender stopped 22 shots.

No. 1 - Mikael Granlund. The Wild forward was the best on the ice and scored the game-winner.

Boxscore

Colorado…..…0 0 0 0 - 0

Minnesota……0 0 0 1 - 1

First Period - None. Penalties - Malone, COL (roughing), 2:07; Stoner, MIN (roughing), 2:07; Holden, COL (slashing), 7:19; Cooke, MIN (high sticking), 7:19; Coyle, MIN (roughing), 9:57; Benoit, COL (holding), 18:29; Talbot, COL (rouging), 18:29; Stoner, MIN (roughing), 18:29; Prosser, MIN (roughing), 18:29.

Second Period - None. Penalties - Cooke, MIN (kneeing), 2:02; Talbot, COL (slashing), 5:09; Niederreiter, MIN (slashing), 11:36; Parise, MIN (high sticking), 14:45; Guenin, COL (interference), 17:19.

Third Period - None. Penalties - Parenteau, COL (interference), 9:35.

Overtime - 1, Minnesota, Granlund 1 (Pominville, Parise), 5:08. Penalties - None.

Shots on goal - Colorado 8-7-6-2 22. Minnesota 22-9-13-2 46.

Goalies - Colorado, Varlamov (45-46). Minnesota, Kuemper (22-22). Referees - Brad Watson, Justin St. Pierre. Linesmen - Shane Heyer, Matt MacPherson.