Some may say that the Minnesota Wild deserved a better fate entering Game 5 than a 2-2 series tie, yet that was the reality of the situation.
In the NHL Game 5’s are always huge for the lower-seeded team because they’re always on the road, and a loss means you’d not only have to win two in a row, but also swipe Game 7 in a hostile arena.
And now after tonight’s overtime loss to Colorado, the Wild are going to have to do just that.
Thanks to a late tying goal followed by an overtime winner, Denver’s squad skated away with a win tonight, (or more accurately this morning from where I type these words in New England) and now have the ability to end this series in St. Paul Monday night.
The game was scoreless until 8:04 of the 2nd period when, with the Avs shorthanded, Colorado’s Cody McCleod netted his first goal of the playoffs. A mere 1:13 later, former Buffalo Sabre Matt Moulson contributed his first tally of the postseason to quickly tie the contest.
Nick Holden then broke the deadlock for the home team by finishing a nice play instigated by rookie phenom Nathan MacKinnon. That lead held up until Minnesota’s Zach Parise’s beautiful shot off a sharp pass from another former Sabre, Jason Pominville, found the net at 4:34 of the 3rd period.
Less than two minutes later, Wild defenseman Kyle Brodziak scored with a straight-on slapshot from just inside the blue line.
With their net empty, Colorado brought the home crowd to its collective feet when it managed a late extra attacker goal from PA Parenteau to send the game to overtime.
In the extra session Nathan MacKinnon picked the far high corner of the Minnesota net and sent the Mile High crowd home in a state of hockey bliss.
Colorado has now put themselves in position to advance into the next round with a win in Game 6. Can they? In 48 hours we’ll know either way.