Late rally lifts Avalanche over Wild in game one


Paul Stastney scored with :13 left in regulation then did it again in overtime to lead the Colorado Avalanche on a rally to beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 in overtime during game one of the Western Conference Playoff series on Thursday night.

It was a tough way for the Wild to open the Stanley Cup playoffs. Colorado trailed Minnesota 4-2 heading into the third period but put together the rally that gave them a 1-0 lead.

Stastney finished with a pair of goals in the game. Nathan MacKinnon had three assists on the night and Tyson Barrie had two.

The Wild had a few chances late, but just couldn't make the big play when they had to.

Zach Parise finished with two assists in the game for Minnesota.

Colorado was on the scoreboard first, on a goal from Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog. But before the end of the first, the Wild bounced back to even it up. Charlie Coyle's wrist shot tied the game up. He was assisted by Parise and Marco Scandella, for Minnesota.

Most of the scoring took place in an action-packed second period. Ryan Suter put the Wild on top 2-1 mid-way through the second, but that goal just opened the flood gates.

Colorado came right back to tie it up at two when Ryan O'Reilly beat Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to tie the score at two.

But Minnesota answered quickly. Erik Haula's first career playoff goal put Minnesota back on top at 3-2, then Kyle Brodziak gave the Wild a two-goal lead at 4-2.

The turning point came in the third period, as Colorado got a big one back as Jamie McGinn cut the Wild's lead to one at 4-3. O'Reilly picked up his second point assisting on the goal.

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy pulled his goalie Semyon Varlamov with 3:00 to go. The gamble paid off with :13 as Stastny scored to force overtime, completing Colorado's two-goal comeback in the third.

The Wild's Jared Spurgeon had a chance to clear the puck with :35 to play, which may have avoided that last goal in regulation, but he failed to clear the zone.

The Wild trail 1-0 in the series, game two is on Saturday night in Denver.

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