The Colorado Avalanche played a better game on the road but not a good enough game on Monday night.
The Minnesota Wild netted a 5-2 win in Game 6 to set up a Game 7 showdown at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.
Wild star Zach Parise showed why Minnesota gave him a big free agent contract in 2012 as he came up with two goals and two assists in the elimination game. He had the game-winner with just under seven minutes to go in the third period on a tip in front of Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov.
Varlamov was not his usual stellar self in net for Colorado. He only faced 21 total shots and gave up a soft goal by his standards early in the game. The Avs were down 2-0 nine minutes into the game.
But the Avs fought back and looked like a different team this time in Minnesota. Paul Stastny scored a short-handed goal to cut the lead to 2-1 going into the first intermission. The Avs had just killed off a 5-on-3 when Stastny broke free and put the puck in the net.
Avs defenseman Nick Holden tied the score midway through the second period with a power-play goal. Colorado kept the pressure on and seemed to be just inches away from taking Game 6 but it was never able to push a puck past Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper.
Coach Patrick Roy once again pulled Varlamov with about two and half minutes to go but this time it didn’t work out. The Wild put two goals in the empty net.
There was one bit of good news from the loss for the Avs. Matt Duchene returned to the ice and looked healthy. He played like he never really missed a beat. Duchene had one assist in his 2014 playoff debut.
Now the young Avs face their first Game 7 situation. They do have the advantage of it being at Pepsi Center in a series where every game has been won by the home team. One Avs player who has Game 7 experience in Varlamov who has a victory in the win-or-go home situation.
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