NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Minnesota
(Monday, April 21st)
Final Score: Minnesota 1, Colorado 0 (OT)
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Mikael Granlund scored at 5:08 of overtime as the Minnesota Wild grabbed a 1-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.
Granlund skated the puck behind the net and to the right boards where he fought off a check. Powering his way to the front, Granlund was able to sweep the puck into the left side of the net as he was falling to the ice for the win.
"Well, it would have been nice to get a couple of more goals," said Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo. "The part where I give my guys credit is that they were tough enough to stay with it and not get frustrated."
Darcy Kuemper, making his first-ever playoff start, turned away all 22 shots for the shutout and help the Wild make it a 2-1 series in favor of Colorado, which won both home games to open the set.
"It had that feeling that one goal was going to be the difference," said Kuemper. "My teammates played amazingly and made things a lot easier for me. I just tried to stay focused and keep the pucks away when they got close."
Semyon Varlamov made 45 saves for the Avalanche, who rallied for an overtime win in Game 1, before taking a 4-2 victory in Game 2 on Saturday.
"They played with more urgency than we did," said Colorado head coach Patrick Roy. "They, without a doubt, were more hungry than us tonight."
Minnesota will look to even this series on Thursday in Game 4.
Kuemper was called on just over eight minutes into the game when he had to stop Ryan Suter on a wrister from the slot, then turned away Suter's rebound chance on the same sequence.
Varlamov did the same at the other end when he made a stop on a Jason Pominville chance down low from the right side with 6 1/2 minutes to play in the first.
Late in the first, Charlie Coyle beat Varlamov to the glove side, but the shot caught the post and the game went into the first intermission without a goal.
Varlamov turned aside 22 shots in the period, while Kuemper made eight.
Two minutes into the second period, the Avs lost defenseman Tyson Barrie when he was hit knee-to-knee by Matt Cooke, and the team was down another blueliner several minutes later when Andre Benoit was slammed into the boards by Nino Niederreiter.
Benoit laid on the ice for several moments and then skated off, but he did return to play.
A bit later, it was Niederreiter again as he slashed Patrick Bordeleau on the wrist and he wound up leaving the game.
In addition to all the injuries, the teams combined for 16 shots, nine from Colorado, but the game went into the third period without a score.
Zach Parise was stopped by Varlamov with a right pad save off a 2-on-1 break about nine minutes in, and Varlamov held the line with six minutes to play as Dany Heatley and Niederreiter were trying to stuff it in from in front.
Varlamov made 13 saves in the third period, while Kuemper was called on for just five stops to force an extra session.
Kuemper had relieved Ilya Bryzgalov in Game 2 ... Colorado was 0-for-4 on the power play, while Minnesota went 0-for-3 ... Colorado rookie Nathan MacKinnon, who posted seven points in the first two games, was limited to three shots in just over 22 minutes of time ... This is the third meeting in the postseason between these two clubs, with each side winning once.
04/22 00:38:37 ET