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Delivering in Denver; Wild advance with Game 7 overtime win


It wouldn't have been appropriate if it hadn't gone into overtime, and like the 2003 Wild-Avalanche Game 7, Wednesday night's game did.

In the end, Nino Neiderreiter netted the game-winning goal to beat the Avalanche 5-4, and send the Wild to the second round. It was Neiderreiter's second playoff goal and second goal of the night.

It was the first time in team history a playoff series has had four games go into overtime. Game highlights:

The Wild battled from behind the whole night. Jared Spurgeon's goal at the 17:33 mark tied the game at 4. It was the fourth time the Wild battled back from a deficit in the game.

The goal evened the game after Minnesota native Erik Johnson gave the Avalanche a 4-3 lead with his first playoff goal.

Ilya Bryzgalov was called on to replace Darcy Kuemper in net. Kuemper was the recipient of a hit, while he was outside the net, in the second period. He shook it off to stay in the game as long as he could, but he was relieved in the third after Johnson's goal.

The Wild helped Bryzgalov out – he didn't face a lot of shots when called on to replace Kuemper.

Earlier in the third, Paul Stastny put the Avalanche on top 3-2 on his fifth goal of the series. Stastny finished with 10 points in the series and was a thorn in Minnesota's side. Neiderreiter's goal evened the score at 3 briefly, until Johnson put the Avalanche back on top.

Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley had the other two Wild goals on the night.

The series was full of controversial calls and Wednesday night was no exception. Colorado's first goal of the night immediately had Wild fans calling foul.

It looked like Colorado's Jamie McGinn collided with Kuemper before the puck crossed the line, which would have been goalie interference and disallowed the Avalanche goal.

Koivu brought Minnesota back to tie it at 1. He was assisted by Charlie Coyle and Matt Moulson. But it didn't last long, the Wild broke down defensively and McGinn struck again to put Colorado up 2-1.

Heatley's goal came just as the third Wild power play expired. He was assisted by Mikael Granlund and Jonas Brodin.

The Wild are now in the Western Conference semifinals and will play another best-of-seven series with the defending NHL Champion Blackhawks, starting in Chicago at 8:30 p.m. Friday.

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