Overtime goal gives Wild victory over Avalanche

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Overtime goal gives Wild victory over Avalanche

Mikael Granlund’s diving goal 5:08 into overtime gave the Minnesota Wild a 1-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 on Monday night to pull within 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Semyon Varlamov stopped 45 of 46 shots, a franchise playoff record for shots on goal by the Wild.

Granlund cut toward the net for a wrist shot, and as he was falling forward took a stab at the puck to finally put one past Varlamov.

Darcy Kuemper made 22 saves, but the Wild goalie in his first career playoff start was just as good as his counterpart.

Game 4 is at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

After the Avalanche line of Nathan MacKinnon, Paul Stastny and Gabe Landeskog combined for 17 points and seven goals over the first two games, the Wild kept them from doing any damage.

The Wild shuffled their lines, with veteran Dany Heatley’s move off the scratch list the most notable change, and played their style. They simply didn’t get enough guys to the net.

The arrival of MacKinnon, the first pick in the 2013 draft, and the hiring of Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy as coach were clear factors in Colorado’s rise from second worst in the NHL to third best. But the rapid ascent of Varlamov, who broke Roy’s franchise record by winning 41 games, was right up there, too.

After wasting a 4-2 lead in Game 1 the Wild badly needed to recapture some energy. They did from the opening faceoff, firing up a crowd that’s been waiting 11 years for a playoff series victory.

AP



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