The Minnesota Wild had the Colorado Avalanche on the ropes in Game 1 of their quarterfinal round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Thursday at the Pepsi Center. However, two bad turnovers allowed the Avalanche to rally for a 5-4 overtime win.
Paul Statsny capitalized on two shots from Ilya Bryzgalov’s left to send the game to overtime with 14 seconds remaining and then seven minutes and 27 seconds in overtime to the Avalanche a 1-0 series lead. Statsny tied the game off a rebound that deflected to him on the backdoor after Jared Spurgeon failed to get the puck out of the Wild’s defensive zone.
Jamie McGinn started the rally at the 7:13 mark of the third period after Kyle Brodziak fanned on a pass right to Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly.
The Wild (0-1) had control of the game five minutes into the third period until a phantom hooking penalty on Stephane Veilleux ignited the Avalanche and gave them the momentum. The Wild killed the penalty, but were back on their heels and the Avalanche were buzzing.
The Avalanche got another break from the referees four minutes later when Jamie McGinn was throwing punches at Brodziak after a whistle, but only Matt Cooke and Nick Holden received penalties.
Erik Haula just missed an empty net goal as his long shot was knocked off the goal line by Erik Johnson. Johnson took the net off its moorings in the process, but was not accessed a penalty. The Wild were in search of an explanation after Mikko Koivu was given a delay of game for knocking off in a far less intentional manner. Mike Yeo said after the game that the referees did not give him an explanation. Neither was a penalty, but consistency would have given the Wild a power play with less than two minutes remaining and ahead by a goal.
The Avalanche (1-0) scored first at the 13:!4 mark of the first period, but surrendered two goals before tying the game up in the second period.
The Wild rattled off two straight goals in the second period to take a two-goal lead into the third period.
The Wild return to action Saturday against the Avalanche in Game 2 of the best of seven series at the Pepsi Center.
No. 3 - Zach Parise. The Wild forward recorded two assists.
No. 2 - Nathan MacKinnon. The Avalanche forward recorded three assists.
No. 1 - Paul Statsny. The Avalanche forward scored two goals and added an assist.
Minnesota……1 3 0 0 - 4
Colorado…..…1 1 2 1 - 5
First Period - 1, Colorado, Landeskog 1 (Statsny, McGinn) 13:14. 2, Minnesota, Coyle 1 (Parise, Scandella), 15:20. Penalties - McCormick, MIN, double minor (high sticking), 5:05; MacKinnon, COL (high sticking), 5:59.
Second Period - 3, Minnesota, Suter 1 (Parise, Koivu), 11:05 (pp). 4, Colorado, O’Reilly 1 (MacKinnon, Barrie), 14:12. 5, Minnesota, Haula 1 (Brodin), 16:08. 6, Minnesota, Brodziak 1 (Cooke, Niederreiter), 18:12. Penalties - Koivu, MIN (delay of game), 8:11; Hejda, COL (interference), 10:33; Parise, MIN (goaltender interference), 12:24; Johnson, COL (roughing), 12:24; Cliche, COL (interference), 18:41.
Third Period - 7, Colorado, McGinn 1 (O’Reilly), 7:13. 8, Colorado, Statsny 1 (Johnson, MacKinnon), 19:46. Penalties - Veilleux, MIN (hooking), 5:04; Cooke, MIN (roughing), 9:06; Holden, COL (roughing), 9:06.
Overtime - 9, Colorado, Statsny 2 (MacKinnon, Barrie), 7:27. Penalties - None.
Shots on goal - Minnesota 7-12-11-3 33. Colorado 8-6-14-3 31.
Goalies - Minnesota, Bryzgalov (26-31). Colorado, Varlamov (29-33). Referees - Steve Kozari, Dean Morton. Linesmen - David Brisebois, Jonny Murray.