The Colorado Avalanche aka “The Cardiac Kids” were back at it Thursday night in-game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They were down 4-2 entering the third period looking for a spark and they found that in Jamie McGinn‘s rebound goal off of Ryan O’Reilly‘s backhand attempt to pull the Avs within one. Rookie head coach Patrick Roy showed faith in his team by pulling goaltender Semyon Varlamov with 3:01 remaining in regulation. His gambling move paid off as assistant captain Paul Stastny connected with just 13.5 remaining to tie the game up at four apiece as the game headed into overtime.
Paul Stastny would not only tie the game up in regulation but in overtime he would put the Colorado Avalanche over the top shooting it past Ilya Bryzgalov to push the team to a 1-0 series lead over the Minnesota Wild. The key play of the game would have to be Colorado’s defenseman Erik Johnson preventing a goal late in the third period on a clearing attempt from the Wild with an empty net for Colorado. Without Johnson getting to the crease in time to swat the puck away, Minnesota would have a 1-0 series lead entering Saturday night’s game.
11:05: Ryan Suter (MIN) PP Goal: Assists: Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise. 2-1 Minnesota
14:12: Ryan O’Reilly (COL): Assists: Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Barrie. 2-2
16:08: Erik Haula (MIN): Assists: Jonas Brodin 3-2 Minnesota
18:12: Kyle Brodziak (MIN): Assists: Matt Cooke, Nino Niederreiter. 4-2 Minnesota
7:13: Jamie McGinn (COL): Assists: Ryan O’Reilly. 4-3 Minnesota
19:46: Paul Stastny (COL): Assists: Erik Johnson, Nathan MacKinnon. 4-4
7:27: Paul Stasnty (2) (COL): Assists: Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Barrie. 5-4 Colorado
Colorado Avalanche rookie center Nathan MacKinnon stepped up his play in the absense of Avalanche centers Matt Duchene and John Mitchell. In his very first playoff game, he would record a plus/minus of +3 with three assists on the night. Defenseman Tyson Barrie would also have a good night in the assists department, recording two of his own.
Game two between the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche will take place Saturday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. Puck-drop is scheduled for 9:30 PM ET, 7:30 PM MT with the Avalanche leading the series, 1-0.