Granlund's overtime goal helps Wild melt Avalanche


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Mikael Granlund's first-career playoff-goal lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 1-0 overtime win, over the Colorado Avalanche.

The victory, in Game Three, was important for Minnesota as they trailed 2-0 in the series.

Granlund's goal came on Minnesota's 46th shot of the game. It was the game's only goal.

The goal sent the crowd at Xcel Energy Center into a frenzy.

Despite dramatically controlling the game, the Wild were not able to get on the scoreboard in regulation. Minnesota outshot Colorado 44-20 through regulation. Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov was on his game making stop after stop, to keep Colorado in the game.

Darcy Kuemper also played admirably for Minnesota. He stopped all 22 shots he faced, for the first playoff win in his young career.

Early on, Varlamov kept the game scoreless despite getting peppered in net. Minnesota set a franchise playoff record for shots in a period, just missing the franchise record for shots in any period.

It stayed scoreless through the second period, though things were quite a bit more even, namely because of three Wild penalties that created power-play opportunities for the Avalanche. The Wild killed off the penalties to head into the third scoreless.

Minnesota's penalty kill was a big key, the Avalanche were 0/4 on the power-play.

The Wild had plenty of offensive chances, only inches separated the Wild from dominating the game on the scoreboard too.

Charlie Coyle had a shot clank off the pipe in the first period. Coyle also got handcuffed by a centering pass right in front of Varlamov in the second. Then Matt Moulson clanked another puck off the pipe in the final minute of the second.

It was a physical game, there was a lot of extra-hitting and quite a few penalties the whole way through. One of the game's uglier moments happened in the second period. The Wild's Matt Cooke took a penalty for this hit.

The hit appears to have caused Colorado's Tyson Barrie an MCL injury, and he is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. The hit could trigger a suspension for Cooke.

The biggest difference tonight for the Wild was how they bottled up Colorado's 18-year-old superstar Nathan MacKinnon, according to the Pioneer Press. Coach Mike Yeo used the last line change to assign Cooke, Erik Haula and Justin Fontaine to help lock down on MacKinnon.

The move turned out to be very successful as they kept MacKinnon without a point for the first time in the series.

The win pulls the Wild closer in the seven game series. They trail 2-1, Game Four is on Thursday night back at the Xcel Energy Center.

Game Five will be back in Denver on Saturday.

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