Wild hold off Avalanche in dramatic finish to even series


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The Minnesota Wild have evened their Western Conference Quarterfinal Playoff series with the Colorado Avalanche. Minnesota escaped the Xcel Energy Center with a 2-1 win on Thursday night.

The Wild played the final two minutes two men down, and didn't give up a goal. Colorado coach Patrick Roy pulled his goalie with just over 2:30 to play and Minnesota picked up a penalty putting the Avalanche two men up.

However, the Wild in dramatic fashion held off the Avalanche and earned the win.

The largest playoff crowd ever to watch a Wild game in Minnesota was at the Xcel Energy Center. Nearly 19,400 attended the game in St. Paul.

The energy from the crowd sparked the Wild early and Minnesota came out firing on all cylinders. The Wild peppered Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov in the first period and outshot the Avalanche 14-3 in the first period.

They outshot Colorado 32-12 in the game.

It didn't take Minnesota long to get on the scoreboard Thursday night. Jared Spurgeon put the Wild on the board 3:47 into the game on a slap shot. Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund each assisted.

Charlie Coyle extended the Wild's lead to 2-0 on his third post season goal, early in the second period.

It didn't stay that way for long as Colorado was able to respond just seconds later on a Ryan O'Reilly goal.

The series shifts back to Colorado now, tied at 2. Saturday night's Game 5 is scheduled for 8:30 from the Pepsi Center.

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